El Juego de la Vida y la Muerte - The Game of Life and Death

A book about “The original rubber ball game


An essential work to gain a better understanding of the game

In both English and Spanish.


The Ullamaliztli Ball Game is one of the oldest recreational activities in history where the greater speed of a bouncing rubber ball is ever used. The encounter with the New World, and the rubber balls from the Americas, would revolutionize European sports forever, making them gain the faster pace and dynamism that is so well-known to other ball games today.

The current edition is a much more detailed voyage into the historic, cosmic, architectural, and artistic facets of this game from ancient Mexico and its survival to today. The first six chapters are dedicated to the origins of the game, the first news of it coming through myths and legends, the symbolisms attributed by various ancient Mexican civilizations, how was it presented in codex, or Pre-Hispanic books, the game courts found by archeologists, and the Pre-Colombian art that was related to it. The next two chapters explain the results of the introduction of rubber in European sports and the way the game is still played today in the State of Sinaloa, complete with its rulebook and positions in the field.

This research's goal was to document and seriously expand on each subject matter and, in an affable and accessible manner, go deep in the extraordinary Pre-Colombian world through one of its most original creations.

ULAMA, THE GAME OF LIFE AND DEATH takes us back to a time when games were tied to the fate of the cosmos, of their cities and its inhabitants.