The ball game was a contest to try to ascertain if the offering the people had made to the god was acceptable. If the offering was acceptable, then the players were able to propel a small rubber ball through the stone circles. If they were not able to do this, then the offering had not been accepted and so they had to sacrifice the best player in the game to make sure the sun would continue to rise. Supposedly it was a great honor to be the one sacrificed!
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