A game for life
The Aztecs and Mayans played games with a rubber ball, and the losing team lost their heads too.

The gentleman, for his leisure, played ball. For this purpose he kept balls of ulli; these balls were large balls to play with pins. They were massive, and made of a particular resin or rubber called ulli, which is very lightweight and flies like a balloon. The gentleman brought with him good ballplayers who played in his presence and other illustrious players on the opposing side and they won gold, turquoise, slaves, fine blankets, cornfields, houses, feathers, cocoa and feather garments.

This was how the Spanish chronicler Bernardino Ribeira de Sahagún (c.1488–1590), the author of the vital work, the Historia general de las cosas de Nueva Espana (“History of the Things of New Spain”), described the ball game played by all the Mesoamerican peoples.
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