4 Most Popular Traditional Sports in Mexico

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Sports in Mexico are entrenched in their rich history and traditions. Their sporting spirit is simply contagious and forever overflowing with passion. Know more about Mexico’s some of the most loved and fought-over sports in the following list, courtesy of casinos online.

Mesoamerican ballgame

The distinction for the oldest sport played in Mexico often goes to what is commonly called the mesoamerican ballgame. This game was played throughout Central America, and although there are many archaeological depictions of this game, those who study it still are not totally sure what all the rules were. From what we know it is most likely that the game was a little like racquetball or fronton where the goal is to keep the ball in play. The ball was solid rubber and HEAVY, and archaeologists believe that players used their hips to keep it in the air. Other versions seemed to exist where forearms and racquets were used. Evidence has been found suggesting that this game was also used in ritual sacrifice, meaning the losers never got a rematch, just a funeral.


Bullfighting

While most of the world has outlawed bullfighting because it is seen as cruel toward animals, Mexico is one of the eight remaining countries in the world where it is legal. Brought by the Spanish conquistadores over 500 years ago, bullfighting has become a part of the fiber of the country. Outside of Spain, Mexico has the most important bullfighting events and toreros (bullfighters) in the world. The performance takes place in three rounds, each progressively bloodier as the bull is stabbed and brought to exhaustion by the bullfighter and picador until, in the final act, the torero stabs the bull between the shoulder blades and kills it. A bloody tradition, it is nevertheless full of pomp, circumstance and, some would say, beauty.

Fronton

Also called Basque pelota, the first versions of this game were created in the Basque country of Spain in the 1800s. The sport eventually made its way to Mexico and several important fronton clubs opened in Mexico City from the 1890s to the 1920s, including Fronton Mexico, which just last year re-opened with a new season of a Jai Alai (a type of Basque pelota played with scoop-like baskets on the players’ hands). The idea of the game is similar to handball – on a rectangular court players hit a hard ball (usually with their hands) against the main wall (called a fronton, or front wall) and get points for where it bounces back on the court, while their opponents have to try to return the serve. Where once there were fronton courts all over Mexico, they are slowly becoming extinct and the game is losing popularity to other sports, like soccer and games from Aussie online pokies.

Charrería

Out of the ranch and animal-handling competitions of Colonial Mexico came the grand gala that is today the charrería. Similar to rodeos in the U.S. but with more formality and grace, the charreada includes events like cattle roping, horse riding and horse performances, riding bareback, and other skill-based contests and competitions. A now-famous visual of the charango is the Escaramuza, a show of female horse-riders dressed in traditional rodeo dresses and cowboy hats. With the break up of the hacienda system at the turn of the century, charros would have traditionally performed from hacienda to hacienda from a charro association that has kept the tradition alive to this day.

Mexico Daily Post