Researchers: Ancient Mayans’ Deadly Hoop Game Frequently Ended With Brutal Low Scores



AUSTIN, Texas—Researchers today discovered the ancient Mayan ball-and-hoop game that frequently ended in human sacrifice also regularly resulted in brutally low final scores. Archaeologists at multiple excavated sites in Central America unearthed scoring tablets engraved with the unthinkably boring tallies.

“It’s a fascinating development,” said Mayan Exploration Center researcher Michael Rockford. “That the Mayan people turned to a game so barbarically difficult and bereft of any offensive fireworks for their entertainment is baffling.

“It appears some of these games, which might take days to complete and finish with several participants decapitated, ended without anybody scoring at all, if you can believe it,” Rockford added.

Participants in the game were tasked with getting a rubber ball through a wall-bound stone hoop, with some illustrations suggesting hands were not allowed to be used in doing so. Players were many times mercilessly heckled by bored audiences before having their still-beating hearts cut from their chests in sacrificial ceremonies.

“Obviously, it paints a pretty savage picture,” Rockford said, describing the games that ended with blood-soaked courts and unfilled scoring tablets. “The closest modern-day equivalent we have is basketball, but this game was much less civilized and refined; no dunks, no alley-oops, not even any fast-break layups. These athletes very often couldn’t hit a bucket if their lives literally depended on it,” he continued.

At press time, Mayan Exploration Center representatives were contacting the Philadelphia 76ers to request that all team records from this season be destroyed to prevent future generations from uncovering similarly horrifying offensive ineptitude and ascribing it as something Americans actually enjoyed.