steps of their bodies, and others again would climb over their faces and
heads and bellies, all of the time kicking face or body, pulling, and
striking and interlocking with reckless fury. When the pile is broken up,
four or five are stretched lifeless, others have their eyes gouged out, and
many arms and legs and ribs are broken. Buckets of water are poured on
the survivors, while substitutes replace the disabled, and the game starts
all over again in the hot sun; and so it goes until sunset."
The game had definite rules and every part of it was carried out
according to prescribed code, from the long training and the challenge to
the throwing of the ball, as well as the resumption of the conflict.
The friars deplored the sport not only for its savagery, but
because "it caused a great economic and physical loss to the community."
Romance of the Floridas by Michael Kenny