A few days back, I realised that I even though I’ve been a big fan of lacrosse for over a decade now, I still don’t know a lot about lacrosse history and how this sport had started.
So, I decided to do some research and learn more about the origins of lacrosse and find out what are some of the mind-blowing lacrosse facts that I didn’t know about.
And so after a few days of research, I learned a LOT about lacrosse history.
Some of these facts are actually boring but others were very interesting.
And today I’ll be sharing with you 11 fun lacrosse facts that I think you’ll like to learn about.
Let’s get started.
Besides bringing people from different tribes and villages together, Lacrosse was also used to prepare the young men for war.
The game was wild and without safety rules in order to equip the players in preparation for the war ahead.
Later on, the United States enforced some rules in order to facilitate the safety and comfort of its players. The game is currently played for fun purposes only and has been adapted far and wide globally.
In the year 1763, the natives and original players of the lacrosse games actually used this game as a tool against the British.
They lodged a game on the summer of 1763 in order to distract British soldiers who apparently were huge fans of the spot.
On this day, there were two tribes playing against each other. As the soldiers were deeply fixated on the proceedings of the game, the tribes used this opportunity to take over the fort of Michilimackinac.
Originally, Lacrosse was believed to be a God given sport for the purpose of fun. It was also used as a tool for settling disputes hence widely embraced by the natives.
It was further seen as a means of healing people, war preparation as well as spiritual development.
In this case, the sport was open to as many players as possible. These included players from far and wide villages hence promoting unity and peace. The game could be played for as long as the players wanted. This act brought the people together as one and encouraged peaceful living.
Although it is believed that women did not participate in Lacrosse games until the modern day, history states that they indeed had their own version of the sport originally known as amtahcha.
The only difference is that their lacrosse sticks were shorter.
Today, female lacrosse teams are common. However, their field dimensions and rules different as there are twelve players on each team while men have only ten players on each team.
Originally, a wooden ball was used to play Lacrosse. Later on, the ball was upgraded to one made using deer skin ball and further
stuffed with fur. They made their own wooden sticks that were topped with a net that was using deer sinew.
Lacrosse was not the initial name given to the spot. Legend has it that the sport was called baggataway by the Algonquin and
tewaarathon by the Iroquois. However, the name Lacrosse was given by French settlers who noticed that the stick used to play looked like something that their church bishops carried at church known as Crozier or crosse in French. The name lacrosse was given to the game and it remains so up to date.
Studies show that Lacrosse is a sport that is adapted and widely played by over 50 countries across the world. These include countries like Jamaica, China and Latvia among many others.
In the year 2000-2001 in Massachusetts alone, there were approximately 8,169 high school lacrosse players. A 105.1% increase was recorded whereby the number shot up to 16,761 high school players.
It is in the year 1881 that the first tournament of intercollege mens’ was held. Havard beat Princeton 3-0 and claimed the championship.
In the year 1882, United States established the first boys high school teams. Phillips Academy Andover is one of the teams that got established that year.
It is in The year 1926 that the first female lacrosse team was established. This was at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, United States.
The lacrosse sport was developed by the indigenous people in North America. It is one of the fastest growing sport in all parts of the
United States. This is believed to be so because the players can apply several skill sets that they gradually learn from other sports. The fact that height isn’t a barrier is an added bonus.
Additionally, the cool gear, personalized sticks and thousands of watching fanatics is quite a lure for the youngsters.
Forget the small teams of passionate players that you see on the field today. The original game had players ranging from 100 up to 1000 on a field that was nearly two miles long.
What’s more? Lacrosse was play right from the moment the sun went up to when it went down and could last between two to three days.
If you thought that Lacrosse is a modern day sport, you are wrong. This is an old sport that originated in the early 1100 AD. It is believed that Canada established it in 17th Century.
Additional Fun Facts About Lacrosse:
1. The woodstick classic is an annual game that’s played between Manhasset and Garden City high schools. It is the oldest public school (uninterrupted) lacrosse rivalry in the country. It started back in the year 1935.
2. Did you know that there are more than 360 college men’s Lacrosse programs in the country today? This is nearly a 30 percent increase record in the last five years.
The number is expected to grow with time given the steady popularity of the sport. Who knows what the number will be like in the next five years?
3. Did you know that Maryland, the current winner of the 2017 NCAA Final Four, suffered a series of nine championship losses before finally beating Ohio State in the year 2017? Now you know.
This shows that just like any other sport, this one too demands persistence in order to take the trophy home.
4. The passion for Lacrosse as a sport is spread out right through the high school level where some interesting facts derive from.
Of all the schools that participate in Lacrosse games, the Syracuse University has the most trophies. Their prowess, tact and skill in the game has rightfully earned them this fortune.
5. Injuries are common in any physical sport but Lacrosse is one of the few sports that pays special attention to safety.
In fact, it has been ranked among the top 3 safest sports by the NCAA. The rate and severity of injury has maintained an all time low hence the recognition.
Do you know about more Lacrosse facts?
Do you have any additional facts that you’d like to share with us.
Please put it in a comment below. I’d love to hear more facts about lacrosse that I didn’t know about.
So, don’t hesitate sharing that with all of us.