The Full Wiki

Lacrosse: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Lacrosse

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

D1 Lacrosse.jpg
NCAA Division I lacrosse game
Highest governing body Federation of International Lacrosse
First played As early as the 12th century AD, North America[1][2]
Olympic 1904-1908; (1928, 1932, & 1948 Demonstration only)

Lacrosse is a team sport of Native American origin that is played using a small solid rubber ball and a long-handled racquet called a crosse or lacrosse stick. The head of the lacrosse stick is strung with loose netting that is designed to hold the lacrosse ball, Offensively, the objective of the game is to use the lacrosse stick to catch, carry, and pass the ball in an effort to score by ultimately hurling the ball into an opponent's goal. Defensively, the objective is to keep the opposing team from scoring and to dispossess them of the ball through the use of stick checking and body contact or positioning. There are three main versions of the sport: men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse and box lacrosse.



"Ball-play of the Choctaw--ball up" by George Catlin, circa 1834-1835.

Lacrosse originated by the Native American nations of the United States and Canada, mainly among the Huron and Iroquois Tribes. In many Native American societies/tribes, the ball sport was often part of religious ritual, played to resolve conflicts, heal the sick, develop strong, virile men and prepare for war. Legend tells of games with more than 100 players from different tribes taking turns to play.It could be played on a field many miles in length and width; sometimes the game could last for days. Early lacrosse balls were made of deerskin, clay, stone, and sometimes wood. Lacrosse played a significant role in the community and religious life of tribes across the continent for many years. Early lacrosse was characterized by deep spiritual involvement, befitting the spirit of combat in which it was undertaken. Those who took part did so in the role of warriors, with the goal of bringing glory and honor to themselves and their tribes.[3] The game was said to be played "for the Creator" or was referred to as "The Creator's Game".

Lacrosse, one of the oldest team sports in the Americas, may have developed as early as the 12th century,[1][2] but since then has undergone many modifications. In the traditional Native American version, each team consisted of about 100 to 1,000 men on a field that stretched from about 500 yards to a couple of miles long.[4] These lacrosse games lasted from sunup to sundown for two to three days straight. These games were played as part of ceremonial ritual to give thanks to the Creator. The modern Ojibway verb 'to play Lacrosse' is baaga'adowe (Baggataway [sic]).[5]

The French Jesuit missionary, Jean de Brébeuf, saw Iroquois tribesmen play it in 1637 and was the first European to write about the game.[6] He called it lacrosse. Some say the name originated from the French term for field hockey, le jeu de la crosse.[7] Others suggest that it was named after the crosier, a staff carried by bishops.[8]

Richmond Hill "Young Canadians" lacrosse team, 1885.

In 1856, Dr. William George Beers, a Canadian dentist, founded the Montreal Lacrosse Club. In 1867 he codified the game, shortening the length of each game and reducing the number of players to twelve per team.[4] The first game played under Beers' rules was at Upper Canada College in 1867, with Upper Canada College losing to the Toronto Cricket Club by a score of 3–1. By the 1900s, high schools, colleges, and universities began playing the game. Lacrosse was contested as a demonstration sport in the 1928 and 1932 Olympics. On each occasion, a playoff was held to determine the American representative to the Olympics and on each occasion the playoffs were won by the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays.[9]

In the United States, lacrosse had primarily been a regional sport centered in and around Maryland, New England, upstate New York, Long Island, and mid-Atlantic states. In recent years, its popularity has started to spread south to Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama and Florida, as well as west to Colorado, California, Texas, and the Midwest. The sport has gained increasing visibility in the media, with a growth of college, high school, and youth programs throughout the country. The NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship has the highest attendance of any NCAA Championship, outdrawing the Final Four of men's basketball.[10] The growth of lacrosse was also facilitated by the introduction of plastic stick heads in the 1970s by Baltimore-based STX. This innovation reduced the weight and cost of the lacrosse stick. It also allowed for faster passes and game play than traditional wooden sticks.

Up until the 1930s, all lacrosse was played on large fields outdoors. The owners of Canadian hockey arenas invented a reduced version of the game, called box lacrosse, as a means to make more profit from their arena investments. In a relatively short period of time, box lacrosse became the dominant form of the sport in Canada, in part due to the severe winter weather that limited outdoor play. More recently, field lacrosse has witnessed a revival in Canada as the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA) began operating a collegiate men's league in 1985. It now includes 12 varsity teams. In 1994 Canada declared lacrosse its National Summer Sport with the passage of the National Sports Act (Bill C-212).[11]

In 1987 a professional box lacrosse league was started, called the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League. This league changed its name to the Major Indoor Lacrosse League, then later to the National Lacrosse League and grew to encompass lacrosse clubs in twelve cities throughout the United States and Canada. In the summer of 2001, a professional field lacrosse league, known as Major League Lacrosse (MLL), was inaugurated. Initially starting with six teams, the MLL has grown to a total of ten clubs located in major metropolitan areas in the United States. On July 4, 2008, Major League Lacrosse set the professional lacrosse attendance record: 20,116 fans attended a game at Invesco Field in Denver, Colorado. In 2006 a field lacrosse league was developed in Quebec, Canada. Composed of the English colleges, this league came together to become the first official college field lacrosse league in Quebec.

Types of play

Field lacrosse

Lacrosse is a very physically demanding sport that requires not only fitness but also good stick work. Men's field lacrosse is played with ten players on each team: a goalkeeper; three defenders in the defensive end; three midfielders (often called "middies") free to roam the whole field; and three attackers attempting to score goals in the offensive end. It is the most common version of lacrosse played internationally. The modern game was codified in Canada by Dr. William George Beers in 1867.[12] The game has evolved from that time to include the protective equipment and lacrosse sticks made from synthetic materials.

Diagram of a men's college lacrosse field.

Each player carries a lacrosse stick (or crosse). A "short crosse" (sometimes called a "short stick") measures between 40 inches (1.0 m) and 42 inches (1.1 m) long (head and shaft together) is typically used by attackers or midfield. A total of four players per team may carry a "long crosse" (sometimes called "long pole", "long stick" or "d-pole") that are 52 inches (1.3 m) to 72 inches (1.8 m) long. The head of the crosse on both long and short crosses must be 6.5 inches (17 cm) or larger at its widest point. There is no minimum width at its narrowest point, the only provision is that the ball must roll out unimpeded. The designated goalkeeper is allowed to have a stick from 40 inches (1.0 m) to 72 inches (1.8 m)) long and the head of a goalkeeper's crosse may measure up to 12 inches (30 cm) wide, significantly larger than field players' heads to assist in blocking shots.[13][14][15]

A face-off.

The field of play is 110 yards (100 m) long and 60 yards (55 m) wide. The goals are 6 feet (1.8 m) by 6 feet (1.8 m). The goal sits inside a circular "crease", measuring 18 feet (5.5 m) in diameter.[13][14][15] Each offensive and defensive area is surrounded by a "restraining box." Each quarter, and after each goal scored, play is restarted with a face-off. During a face-off, two players lay their stick horizontally next to the ball, head of the stick inches from the ball and the butt-end pointing down the midfield line.[14] Face-off-men scrap for the ball, often by “clamping” it under their stick and flicking it out to their teammates. Attackers and defenders cannot cross their “restraining line” until one player from the midfield takes possession of the ball or the ball crosses the restraining line.[14] If a member of one team touches the ball and it travels outside of the playing area, play is restarted by possession being awarded to the opposing team. During play, teams may substitute players in and out freely. Sometimes this is referred to as "on the fly" substitution. Substitution must occur within the designated exchange area in order to be legal.[13][14][15]

For most penalties, the offending player is sent to the penalty box which is located between each team's bench. His team then must play without him for a designated amount of time based upon the foul, or until a goal is scored. Typical penalties last for 30 seconds, while personal fouls last for 1 minute. A player who uses a stick that does not meet the specifications of their designated level of play will serve a penalty of 3 minutes that can not be released by scoring a goal. The team that has taken the penalty is said to be playing man down while the other team is on the man up. Teams will use various lacrosse strategies to attack and defend while a player is being penalized. Offsides is penalized by a 30 second penalty. It occurs when there are more than six players (three midfielders/three attackmen) on the offensive side of the field, or more than 7 players on the defensive side of the field (three midfielders/three defensemen/one goalkeeper). The zones are separated by the midfield line. [13][14][15]

At the highest level it is represented by the professional Major League Lacrosse (MLL) and on the collegiate level by the NCAA Division I in the United States.[16] The first collegiate lacrosse program was established by New York University in 1877,[17] and the 1971 tournament was the first Men's Lacrosse Championship sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).[18] It is also played at a high level on the amateur level by the Australian Lacrosse League, the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association, and club lacrosse leagues internationally.[19]

1904 Olympics Gold Medal winning Winnipeg Shamrocks Lacrosse Team

Internationally, there are twenty two total members of the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL), only United States, Canada, Australia, and the Iroquois Nationals have finished in the top three places at the World Lacrosse Championships. The World Lacrosse Championship began as a four-team invitational tournament in 1968 sanctioned by the International Lacrosse Federation. Lacrosse at the Olympics was a medal-earning sport in the 1904 Summer Olympics and the 1908 Summer Olympics.[20][21][22] Lacrosse was a demonstration sport in the 1928 Summer Olympics, 1932 Summer Olympics, and the 1948 Summer Olympics.[23][24][25][26]

The professional Major League Lacrosse strayed from some of the established field lacrosse rules of international, college, and high school programs. With intentions to increase scoring, the league employed a sixty second shot clock and a two–point goal for shots taken outside a designated perimeter.[27] The MLL has been bolstered by a ten year television contract with ESPN in 2007.[28]

Box lacrosse

A National Lacrosse League game.

Box lacrosse (or indoor lacrosse) is an indoor version of the game played by teams of six on ice hockey rinks where the ice has been removed or covered by artificial turf. The enclosed playing area is called a box, in contrast to the open playing field of the traditional game.[29] This version of the game was introduced in the 1930s to promote business for hockey arenas,[30] and within several years had nearly supplanted field lacrosse in Canada.[31]

Box lacrosse is played at the highest level by the Senior A divisions of the Canadian Lacrosse Association and the National Lacrosse League (NLL). The National Lacrosse League employs some minor rule changes from the Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) rules. Notably, the games are played during the winter,[29], the NLL games consist of four fifteen-minute quarters compared with three periods of twenty minutes each (similar to ice hockey) in CLA games, and that NLL players may use only sticks with hollow shafts, while CLA permits solid wooden sticks.[32][33]

The goals in box lacrosse are much smaller than field lacrosse, traditionally 4 feet (1.2 m) wide by 4 feet (1.2 m) tall in box, and 4.6 feet (1.4 m) wide by 4 feet (1.2 m) tall in the NLL.[32] Also, the goaltender wears much more protective padding,[29] including a massive chest protector and armguard combination known as "uppers", large shin guards known as leg pads (both of which must follow strict measurment guidelines), and ice hockey-style masks or lacrosse helmets.[34] Also, at the professional level, box lacrosse goaltenders often use traditional wooden sticks outside of the NLL, which does not allow wooden sticks.

The style of the game is fast, accelerated by the close confines of the floor and a shot clock. The shot clock requires the attacking team to take a shot on goal within 30 seconds of gaining possession of the ball. In addition, players must advance the ball from their own defensive end to the offensive side of the floor within 10 seconds.[29]

For most penalties, the offending player is sent to the penalty box and his team has to play without him and with one less player for a short amount of time. Most penalties last for two minutes, unless a five minute major penalty has been assessed. Fighting is illegal in box lacrosse, however what separates box lacrosse (and ice hockey) from other sports is that at the top levels of professional and junior lacrosse, a five-minute major penalty is given and the players are not ejected for participating in a fight.[35]

Internationally, the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships are held every four years and are sponsored by the Federation of International Lacrosse. Only eight nations have competed in these competitions, and only Canada, Iroquois Nationals and the United States have finished in the most coveted 1st, 2nd and 3rd places at these events.

Women's lacrosse

The rules of women's lacrosse differ significantly from men's lacrosse, most notably by equipment and the degree of allowable physical contact.[36] Women's lacrosse does not promote physical contact. The only protective equipment worn for this sport is a mouth guard and face guard and sometimes thin gloves. Although women's lacrosse does not allow much physical contact, it does allow stick to stick contact when in the right body position. Players are able to hit the opponent's stick to try and obtain possession of the ball. This is commonly known as checking. Players are able to lightly push the player if their stick is a certain angle on the oppositions body.

In younger groups, no checking or limited checking is permitted. (For instance, in the USA, no checking is permitted below 7th grade, while in 7th grade to 8th grade checking is only permitted if the opponent's stick is below the shoulders).

The first modern women's lacrosse game was held at St Leonards School in Scotland in 1890. It was introduced by the school's headmistress Louisa Lumsden after a visit to Canada.[37] The first women's lacrosse team in the United States was established at Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Maryland in 1926. Men’s and women’s lacrosse were played under virtually the same rules, with no protective equipment, until the mid-1930s.

NCAA women's Lacrosse Division I began play in 1982. The University of Maryland, College Park has traditionally dominated the women's intercollegiate play, producing many head coaches across the country and many U.S. national team players. The Lady Terps won seven consecutive NCAA championships, from 1995 through 2001. Princeton University's women's teams have made it to the final game seven times since 1993 and have won three NCAA titles, in 1993, 2002, and 2003. In recent years, Northwestern University has become a force, winning the national championship from 2005 through 2009.[38]

Internationally, the game is commonly played in British girls' independent schools, and while only a minor sport in Australia, it is played to a very high standard at the elite level, where its national squad won the 2005 Women's Lacrosse World Cup. The next Women's World Cup will be played in 2009 hosted by Prague, Czech Republic.[39]

College lacrosse

Lacrosse in the United States is played at the collegiate level in both the club and sanctioned team sport. There are currently 60 NCAA sanctioned Division I men's lacrosse teams, 37 Division II men's lacrosse teams, 166 Division III men's lacrosse teams. There are also currently 91 Division I women's lacrosse teams, 57 Division II women's lacrosse Teams, and 201 Division III women's lacrosse teams. 209 collegiate men's club teams compete at the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association level, including most major universities in the United States. Another 107 schools have club teams in the National College Lacrosse League.

The first U. S. intercollegiate game was played on November 22, 1877 between New York University and Manhattan College. Lacrosse had been introduced in upstate New York in the 1860s. Lacrosse was further introduced to the Baltimore area in the 1890s. These two areas continue to be the hotbeds of college lacrosse in the U.S. The first intercollegiate lacrosse tournament was held in 1881, with Harvard beating Princeton, 3-0, in the championship game.

International lacrosse

Lacrosse has been played for the most part in Canada and the United States, with small but dedicated lacrosse communities in the United Kingdom and Australia. Recently, however, lacrosse has begun to flourish at an international level with the sport establishing itself in many new and far-reaching countries, particularly in Europe and east Asia.

With lacrosse not having been an official Olympic sport since 1908, the pinnacle of international lacrosse competition consists of the quadrennial World Championships. Currently, there are world championships for lacrosse at senior men, senior women, under 19 men and under 19 women level. Until 1986, lacrosse world championships had only been contested by the United States, Canada, England and Australia, with Scotland and Wales also competing in the women's edition. The expansion of the game internationally saw the 2006 Men's World Championship contested by 21 countries, and the 2009 Women's World Cup competed for by 16 nations.

In 2003, the first World Indoor Lacrosse Championship was contested by six nations at four sites in Ontario, Canada. Canada won the championship in a final game against the Iroquois, 21-4. The 2007 WILC was held in Halifax, Canada on from May 14-20, and also won by Canada. Teams from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Iroquois Nationals, Scotland and the United States competed.

The next largest international field lacrosse competition is the European Lacrosse Championships. Held for both men and women, the European Lacrosse Federation (ELF) has been running the European Championships since 1995. Before 2001 the Championships were an annual event, but in 2001 the ELF changed the format to every four years between the World Championship. Before 2004, only 7 nations had ever participated, but in 2004 there was a record number of participating countries, with 12 men's and 6 women's, which made it the largest international lacrosse event of 2004. The last European Lacrosse Championships were held in Lahti, Finland in 2008, with 18 competing countries. England placed first with the Netherlands and Germany placing second and third, respectively.

A player taking a "dive shot".

The World Lacrosse Championships have been dominated by the United States, particularly in the men's game, where the only world championship game losses at either level was in the 1978 final to Canada and 2006 final to Canada. The USA has won 8 of the 10 senior men's and all six under 19 men's tournaments to date. The next Men's World Lacrosse Championships will be held in Manchester, England, in 2010.

In the women's game, Australia have provided stiffer competition, having won 6 of 14 games against the USA at senior world championships, including one draw. The USA has won 6 of the 8 senior women's and 2 of the 3 under 19 women's tournaments to date, with the other world championships won by Australia.

Kenyans, while being somewhat obscure in the lacrosse world, do have a team of their own. Along with most other African lacrosse teams, Kenya is ranked among the top 25 teams in the world, and has a vivid history. The sport grew there from children hitting balls back and forth with wooden sticks for a sustained period of time. This, unexpectedly, evolved into lacrosse.

The Iroquois Nationals are a team consisting of members of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. The team was admitted to the International Lacrosse Federation (ILF) in 1990. It is the only Native American team sanctioned to compete in any sport internationally. The Nationals placed fourth in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Lacrosse Championships. In 2008, the Iroquois were admitted as the Haudenosunee Nation to the International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Associations (IFWLA) as one of that governing body's final acts.

One obstacle to the international development of lacrosse had been the existence of separate governing bodies for the men's and women's versions of the sport, with men's lacrosse being governed by ILF and the women's version by IFWLA. In August 2008, after four years of negotiation, the two bodies merged to form a single unified body, the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL). All championships previously operated by the ILF and IFWLA will be taken over by the FIL.

See also

  • Intercrosse, a version of lacrosse popular in physical education classes is played with sticks made completely out of plastic and hollow balls.
  • Polocrosse, a version of lacrosse played on horseback.


  1. ^ a b Vennum, Thomas. American Indian Lacrosse: Little Brother of War. (Smithsonian Institution, 1994) SBN 978-1560983026.
  2. ^ a b Liss, Howard. Lacrosse (Funk & Wagnalls, 1970) pg 13.
  3. ^ Rock, Tom (November/December 2002). "More Than a Game". Lacrosse Magazine (US Lacrosse). Retrieved 2007-03-18.  
  4. ^ a b "Lacrosse History". STX. Retrieved 2007-02-24.  
  5. ^ "Ojibway English Dictionary". Retrieved 2008-11-13.  
  6. ^ "Patron Saints Index: Jean de Brébeuf". Catholic Community Forum. Retrieved 2007-03-18.  
  7. ^ Lacrosse: E-Lacrosse Lacrosse History, Links and Sources
  8. ^ STX Lacrosse
  9. ^ Scott, Bob; Scott, Robert (1978). Lacrosse: Technique and Tradition. JHU Press. p. 202. ISBN 080182060X.  
  10. ^ "Virginia Claims National Title, and a Victory for Lacrosse". The New York Times. May 30, 2006.  
  11. ^ Marlatt, Craig I.W., CanadaInfo: Symbols, Facts, & Lists: Official Symbols,, retrieved 2008-10-23  
  12. ^ Scott, p. 8
  13. ^ a b c d "NCAA 2008 Lacrosse Rulebook" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-11-13.  
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Men's Lacrosse Rules Condensed Version". National Collegiate Athletic Association.  
  15. ^ a b c d "Rules of Men's Field Larosse" (PDF). International Lacrosse Federation. Retrieved 2007-03-30.  
  16. ^ "Major League Lacrosse History". Retrieved 2008-11-17.  
  17. ^ "History of Lacrosse". US Lacrosse. Retrieved 2008-11-17.  
  18. ^ Carry, Peter (June 14, 1971). "Big Red Votes Itself No. 1". Retrieved 2008-05-30.  
  19. ^ "FAQ's". Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association. Retrieved 2008-11-18.  
  20. ^ "Lacrosse results from the 1904 & 1908 Summer Olympics". Retrieved 2008-11-13.  
  21. ^ "1904 Winnipeg Shamrocks". The Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. Retrieved 2008-11-18.  
  22. ^ Owen, David (April 25, 2008). "David Owen on the 1908 Olympic celebration". Retrieved 2008-11-18.  
  23. ^ "Olympic sports of the past". Retrieved 2008-11-13.  
  24. ^ "Official Report Of The Olympic Games Of 1928 Celebrated At Amsterdam" (PDF). The Netherlands Olympic Committee. 1928. pp. 899–903. Retrieved 2008-11-18.  
  25. ^ "Official Report Of The Xth Olympiade Committee in Los Angeles 1932" (PDF). Xth Olympiade Committee. 1932. pp. 763–766. Retrieved 2008-11-18.  
  26. ^ "1948 Official Olympic ReportThe Official Report of the Organising Committee for the XIV Olympiad" (PDF). Organising Committee for the XIV Olympiad. 1948. pp. 716–717. Retrieved 2008-11-18.  
  27. ^ "League announces expansion of rosters to 19 and addition of fourth long pole for 2009". Inside Lacrosse. October 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24.  
  28. ^ "Major League Lacrosse Signs Multi-Year Agreement With ESPN2". March 14, 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-18.  
  29. ^ a b c d "Lax 101". National Lacrosse League. Retrieved 2007-03-19.  
  30. ^ Fisher, p. 157
  31. ^ Fisher, p. 120
  32. ^ a b "National Lacrosse League Rulebook" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  33. ^ Vennum, p. 287
  34. ^ "Box Lacrosse Equipment Guideline". Retrieved 2008-10-28.  
  35. ^ Dowbiggin, Bruce (October 7, 2008). "Court case will make Bertuzzi's past very difficult to ignore". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2008-10-28. "Only hockey and lacrosse -- both Canadian games -- let a player fight and still remain in the game. No other popular team sport in the world does the same."  
  36. ^ 2007 IWWLA Women's Lacrosse Rules, International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Associations
  37. ^ "History of Lacrosse at St Leonards". Retrieved 2008-05-01.  
  38. ^ "NCAA Women's Division I Lacrosse History". Retrieved 2008-06-11.  
  39. ^ "2009 Women's Lacrosse World Cup Official website". LacrosseWorldCup2009. Retrieved 2008-06-11.  

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LACROSSE, the national ball game of Canada. It derives its. name from the resemblance of its chief implement used, the curved netted stick, to a bishop's crozier. It was borrowed from the Indian tribes of North America. In the old days, according to Catlin, the warriors of two tribes in their war-paint would form the sides, often Boo or r000 strong. The goals were placed from 500 yds. to 2 m. apart with practically no side boundaries. A solemn dance preceded the game, after which the ball was tossed into the air and the two sides rushed to catch it on "crosses," similar to those now in use. The medicine-men acted as umpires, and the squaws urged on the men by beating.

them with switches. The game attracted much attention from the early French settlers in Canada. In 1763, after Canada had become British, the game was used by the aborigines to carry out an ingenious piece of treachery. On the 4th of June, when the garrison of Fort Michilimackinac (now Mackinac) was celebrating the king's birthday, it was invited by the Ottawas, under their chief Pontiac, to witness a game of "baggataway" (lacrosse). The players gradually worked their way close to the gates, when, throwing aside their crosses and seizing their tomahawks which the squaws suddenly produced from under their blankets, they rushed into the fort and massacred all the inmates except a few Frenchmen.

The game found favour among the British settlers, but it was not until 1867, the year in which Canada became a Dominion, that G. W. Beers, a prominent player, suggested that Lacrosse should be recognized as the national game, and the National Lacrosse Association of Canada was formed. From that time the game has flourished vigorously in Canada and to a less extent in the United States. In 1868 an English Lacrosse Association was formed, but, although a team of Indians visited the United Kingdom in 1867, it was not until sometime later that the game became at all popular in Great Britain. Its progress was much encouraged by visits of teams representing the Toronto Lacrosse Club in 1888 and 1902, the methods of the Canadians and their wonderful "short-passing" exciting much admiration. In 1907 the Capitals of Ottawa visited England, playing six matches, all of which were won by the Canadians. The match North v. South has been played annually in England since 1882. A county championship was inaugurated in 1905. A North of England League, embracing ten clubs, began playing league matches in 1897; and a match between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge has been played annually since 1903. A match between England and Ireland was played annually from 1881 to 1904.

Implements of the Game

The ball is made of indiarubber sponge, weighs between 44 and 42 oz., and measures 8 to 82 in. in circumference. The "crosse" is formed of a light staff of hickory wood, the top being bent to form a kind of hook, from the tip of which a thong is drawn and made fast to the shaft about 2 ft. from the other end. The oval triangle thus formed is covered with a network of gut or rawhide, loose enough to hold the ball but not to form a bag. At no The Crosse.

part must the crosse measure more than 12 in. in breadth, and no metal must be used in its manufacture. It may be of any length to suit the player. The goals are set up not less than Too nor more than Igo yds. apart, the goal-posts being 6 ft. high and the same distance apart. They are set up in the middle of the "goal-crease," a space of 12 ft. square marked with chalk. A net extends from the top rail and sides of the posts back to a point 6 ft. behind the middle of the line between the posts. Boundaries are agreed upon by the captains. Shoes may have indiarubber soles, but must be without spikes.

The Game. - The object of the game is to send the ball, by means of the crosse, through the enemy's goal .posts as many times as possible during the two periods of play, precisely as in football and hockey. There are twelve players on each side. In every position save that of goal there are two men, one of each side, whose duties are to "mark" and neutralize each other's efforts. The game is opened by the act of "facing," in which the two centres, each with his left shoulder towards his opponents' goal, hold their crosses, wood downwards, on the ground, the ball being placed between them. When the signal is given the centres draw their crosses sharply inwards in order to gain possession of the ball. The ball may be kicked or struck with the crosse, as at hockey, but the goal-keeper alone may handle it, and then only to block and not to throw it. Although the ball may be thrown with the crosse for a long distance-220 yds. is about the limit - long throws are seldom tried, it being generally more advantageous for a player to run with the ball resting on the crosse, until he can pass it to a member of his side who proceeds with the attack, either by running, passing to another, or trying to throw the ball through the opponents' goal. The crosse, usually held in both hands, is made to retain the ball by an ingenious rocking motion only acquired by practice. As there is no "off-side" in Lacrosse, a player may pass the ball to the front, side or rear. No charging is allowed, but one player may interfere with another by standing directly in front of him ("body-check"), though without holding, tripping or striking with the crosse. No one may interfere with a player who is not in possession of the ball. Fouls are penalized either by the suspension of the offender until a goal has been scored or until the end of the game; or by allowing the side offended against a "free position." When a "free position" is awarded each player must stand in the position where he is, excepting the goal-keeper who may get back to his goal, and any opponent who may be nearer the player getting the ball than 5 yds.; this player must retire to that distance from the one who has been given the "free position," who then proceeds with the game as he likes when the referee says "play." This penalty may not be carried out nearer than 10 yds. from the goal. If the ball crosses a boundary the referee calls "stand," and all players stop where they are, the ball being then "faced" not less than 4 yds. within the boundary line by the two nearest players.

See the official publications of the English Lacrosse Union; and Lacrosse by W. C. Schmeisser, in Spalding's "Athletic Library." Also Manners, Customs and Condition of the North American Indians, by George Catlin.

<< La Crosse

La Cruz >>


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




  1. lacrosse

Simple English

A game of lacrosse

Lacrosse, invented by the Native Americans, is a popular team sport in North America and a national summer sport for Canada. It involves the use of nets, or "heads" as they are called, which consist of a wooden or metal shaft with a net on the end. Hockey is a game based on this sport.

How the game is played

Lacrosse has two teams, each with ten players. There is one goalie, three defensemen, three midfielders and three attackmen. The goalies defend the goals, and if the ball goes into the goal, the team who got the goal scores. Whoever scores he most goals by the end of the game wins, with an overtime period being played if the game is tied. The game has four quarters and starts with a "faceoff" at the beginning of each quarter. A faceoff is when the ball is on the ground to start the game, and one person from each team fights for the ball.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address