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Ancient America
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Let's Play a Ballgame!



Let's Play a Ballgame!
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.6

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    ballgame, cacao, killing, violent, lightly, once, ritual, pounds, time, likely, however, exact, core, darkness, volleyball, certainly
     content words:    Central America


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Let's Play a Ballgame!
By Vickie Chao
  

1     Once upon a time, there was a very popular sport in Central America. Nobody knows who came up with this sport more than 3,000 years ago. But everybody agrees that it was the Olmecs who made it popular. Even after the Olmecs were gone, the sport survived. The Mayas continued to play it. And so did the Aztecs.
 
2     Even now, we do not know the exact rules of the game. We do, however, know that people played the game differently in different places at different times. If we want to bring back the sport, we need to have two teams of players standing on each end of an I-shaped court. When the game begins, the two teams need to pass a ball from one side of the court to the other. The players cannot touch the ball with their hands and feet. They can, however, use their hips, elbows, or knees to hit it. If a player does not pick up the ball in time and lets it fall to the ground, that team loses a point. Or if a player manages to direct the ball through a hoop, that team scores a point. The team with the most points wins the game.
 
3     Does this sport sound familiar to you?

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