Looking through the rich history of lacrosse

Lacrosse is a sport that has been becoming more popular by the day, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon. But the question is, when was lacrosse even invented, and why is it just now becoming popular?

Lacrosse was first invented in the 12th century by Native Americans and served many purposes. The main purpose of this sport was to train for war, using the physicality to prepare themselves, but it also served spiritual and medicinal purposes, with some games being scripted to tell stories.

In the 1600s, lacrosse was first witnessed by the Europeans, who gave it the name lacrosse, specifically the French, which is why the name sounds French. Many historians believe that the Native Americans called it Baggataway, meaning creator’s game, or Tewaaraton, meaning little brother of war.

The first organized lacrosse team was formed in 1856, in Montreal. The Montreal Lacrosse Club came to Montreal before the first Canadian hockey game was even played, technically making lacrosse more Canadian than hockey.

In 1890, the first womens lacrosse game was played at St. Leonard’s School in Scotland. This cemented the womens game as a part of lacrosse for centuries to come. The first international womens lacrosse league was made in 1972, two years before the first international mens lacrosse league.

In the early 1900s, lacrosse gained popularity easily, becoming an Olympic sport for the 1904 St. Louis Olympics and the 1908 London Olympics. After that, it lost its title as an Olympic sport as there were only teams from Canada, the United States and Great Britain competing. It remained a demonstration sport for the 1928, 1932 and 1948 Olympics. 

In 2008, the leading international womens lacrosse league, the International Federation of Womens Lacrosse Association (IFWLA) combined with the leading international mens lacrosse league, International Lacrosse Federation (ILF) to make the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL).

In 2018 the FIL received a provisional recognition from the International Olympic Committee, setting up for the possibility of Olympic Lacrosse for the first time in 110 years. 

Finally, in 2021 lacrosse received full recognition from the IOC for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, giving lacrosse an opportunity to be played in the Olympics 120 years after it was cut from the program.

The equipment in lacrosse has also evolved a lot in the sport’s centuries of history. It started with sticks made out of wood and plant fibers, and it is now made out of metal, carbon fiber, plastic and synthetic strings. The first helmets were a lot like the first football helmets, being little leather caps that gave very little protection. Now, the helmets are sleek, aerodynamic and more protective than ever before. 

In total, lacrosse has come a long way since its days as a warrior training game, and it looks like it will continue for years and years to come.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Roaring Bengals

Your donation will support the student journalists of Fuquay-Varina High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Roaring Bengals

Comments (0)

All Roaring Bengals Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *