Ancient Team Sport

This passage describes an ancient team sport that used some of the same rules and equipment that we use today.

Lexile Level: 490L

Categories: History Sports & Health


The first team sport began in ancient America. It was played over 3,500 years ago. Like basketball and soccer, the sport used a round ball. No one knows how the game was played or scored. Researchers do know about the balls, courts, uniforms, and players. The balls were made out of sap from rubber trees. The balls were bouncy. They were also very heavy. They weighed about eight pounds. The ball courts were shaped like the capital letter "i." They were cut out of stone. People painted the courts with bright colors. The courts were surrounded by seats for fans to watch. The ball game was fast and dangerous. Players wore uniforms to protect them and help them move quickly. The ball game was played with two teams. There were three players on each team. Matches were very competitive. Winners were praised by the whole community. Like today, they received fame and riches.


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