Our Story

We are inspired to tell the story of ancient Maya civilization, culture and spirituality encompassing a pantheon of mythic creatures, gods, and humans, many of them described in the Popol Vuh, the Mayas’ biblical account of their origins.

A central theme contained in these myths and deeds of antiquity is a ritual ballgame, played for their lives by the Hero Twins against the Lords of Xibalba, the protective rulers of the underworld.
From these personal and powerful sources, we bring the spectacle of Heroes of the Maya and the dynamic Royal Ringball, a modern, derived version of the ancient Olmec, Maya, and much later, Aztec ballgame.

Our filmed and live production will find an international family audience through spectacular arena family entertainment and portray many of these vivid theatrical characters and images in dramatic, colorful and athletic style.

Over a thousand years before the classical Maya period, the people who invented the rubber ball played a variety of ballgames, some using inclined arena surfaces, like Royal Ringball and the iconic vertical ring. These games rewarded speed and agility over size and strength.

Their ball of up to 12 pounds was moved by being struck with any part of the body, including elbows and arms, hands, fists and hips in epic struggles between emperors, kings and gods, men and women alike.

And woe did oft betide the losers.

I’m Martin Zitter, former successful financial services professional and a speaker with a passion for sports and ancient history, particularly for the Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican era.

Several years ago our young son Daniel brought home an assignment to write a report about the Mayas and asked us for help. It turned out to be a golden opportunity for Carol and me to indulge my interests while sharing an enjoyable project with our boy.

We researched Maya culture and learned that the games they played were way too dangerous by modern standards. Even the Spanish Conquistadors blanched at their brutality, so they put a stop to them in their own equally brutal way.

We decided to learn as much as we could about this 3,600-year-old culture and began imagining how to honor the rich traditions behind the events and the noble men and women who originally played Ulama, Pitz, Pok Ta Pok and El Juego de Pelota.

After visiting Xcaret, Chichen Itza and other Yucatan Maya sites, we wrote a unique set of proprietary rules and designed a special modular arena, suitable for use indoors or out, selected a usable ball and a plan to cast and prepare players.

We have available a prospective test location at the StubHub Center, Carson, CA, and are ready to develop the first full-scale, prototype Ringball arena to be built in the modern era and test it for feasibility and proof of concept.

Net of fees, our budget funds casting and rehearsals, the development and production of the basic modular set and several live performances to film.

Once in operation, we will recruit investors, sponsors, and media partners to build out an initial single-entity league expansion with 12 U.S. teams within five years and several more in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and through the region.

Value statements:

Culturally, these performances may serve as a pedagogical vehicle introducing the public to a largely obscure people, period and place in history, and stimulate diverse students to learn more.

Artistically, they may produce a unique new set of sights, sounds, and images to enjoy.

Athletically, they may encourage those who are not interested in competing in conventional games to become involved and active in a sport where all will start out learning.

Economically, in a strategic partnership, they may create a new franchise prospect with a dedicated affinity fan-base and generate significant revenue in commerce, sponsorship and high-wage employment with benefits redounding to supporters and the community.

Mission – We bring to campus, community, and commerce a spectacular new competitive contact team ball sport based on and derived from the original ballgame of the ancient Mesoamericans.

Vision – Our historic recreational, collegiate, professional and Olympic mixed-gender ballsport takes its place among the great athletic events of the world.

STRENGTHS – A unique proprietary adaptation of a widely known historic game. A flexible and inclusive approach toward marketing both the athletic and cultural aspects of the enterprise.
WEAKNESSES – Huge barriers to entry in sports and entertainment.

OPPORTUNITIES – A chance to go head-to-head with soccer for a share of the international Latino audience.

THREATS – Questionable availability of sufficient capital. The perils of going against the crowded and highly competitive sports establishment.

Yours truly,
Martin K. Zitter
Creator & Coach
Royal Ringball, LLC