The ancient game of lachi or juego de pelota of Monte
Albán has been the subject of much debate.
Constructed during the Classic period of the development
of the site this rectangular area is seen pictured:
Despite appearance the two sloping areas to the sides
are not spectator stands, but are part of the court
itself. During the times when games were played
here they would have been smooth slopes, and been a
challenging surface on which to play and control the
native rubber ball.
At the end zones hoops as goals would have been placed,
though at this time such baskets were very small and it
is easy to imagine that games may have gone on very long
with no "score". Some suggest that simply getting
a ball into the end zone must have counted, but like all
things this is guesswork.
Little is known about how these games were played, only
clues from sculptures and oral traditions captured by
early European explorers give some clues. Kneepads and
helmets are seen in depictions of the players implying
that it was a rough and active game.
Imagine lacross, squash and football combined - played
on a court with sloping surfaces. It was probably
more X-Games than lawn tennis!
As with much of life at the time the religious and the
secular combined and players were seen also as
worshipers, and prayed to their gods for success on the