After I finished my story, "The History of the Mayan Ball League," which is a wildly ill-informed (intentionally so) tale of a fictional professional sports league featuring the Maya game of ulama, one of my most trusted advance readers and cheerleaders through the years put me in touch with an actual anthropologist, perhaps hoping to bring down the wrath of the American Anthropological Association on my head.
Instead of too much wrath (though I am currently in hiding), she suggested an excellent read from a former pupil, John Fox. His book is called The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Of course, he had me hooked from the outset by setting the opening for the whole book in the wilds of Red Sox Nation, having a game of catch with his son. But his prose flows so well and so quickly, it makes the book difficult to put down.
It's well worth an evening or two of your time.
Causes Matthew Hanlon Supports
The Jimmy Fund, The Neely House, UNICEF