I read a book while in elementary school in either in 1984 or 85; it was from the school's library, so it likely was a juvenile or young adult book. There were 2 boys from "modern" times, and I don't remember how, but they ended up travelling in time. They tried to get by in the ancient society they ended up in, and decided to play in a sporting tournament playing a game that at the time I thought sounded like lacrosse, where the winners were showered with riches but the losers of the final round were sacrificed.
After visiting a Mayan village in Mexico, the description of the Mayan ball game sounded very similar to the game I remember being described in the book. That's why I want to find it and read it again to see if it was a historical reference. In the book they used some kind of sticks that the boys were able to make better than any other team because of their modern technology knowledge, and ended up playing against another team that made similar style sticks because they observed them in the village and copied the idea.
The boys also met up with a Viking girl who also got mysteriously transported to the same time. She only spoke limited English, and always wore a large fur hat even though they were in a very hot climate. She was part of the team, and when they won, she was forced to take her hat off, and she was taken away to be offered to the gods because of her blonde hair. The boys were worried she was to be sacrificed, but when they found her, she was considered higher stature because of her unique hair colour and instead was being treated like royalty.
I don't remember much beyond that. I have a vague memory of a pyramid-like structure on the cover, but I could be remembering wrong. I believe that they felt they could travel back to their proper time if they could get the right things/conditions, which was the big impetus for them winning, and that the girl was a complication, but they hoped to return her to her correct place/time as well. I don't remember how the book ended; it was a little too advanced reading for me, so it's likely I didn't finish it, as I found it difficult to understand even though I found the story fascinating. (Maybe meaning it wasn't really a kids book, even though it was in an elementary school library?) The "boys" seemed older to me, more like late teenagers perhaps (same thing with the girl).
I've tried looking around for possible books, and haven't found anything similar. If anyone has suggestions, or even knows what the book is, I'd appreciate it.