The True History Of Lacrosse
Sports

The True History Of Lacrosse

The Origin Of "The Fastest Sport On Two Feet"

2965
Google

Every little thing that exists today or that ever will exist is accompanied with an individual and original history. Everything has an origin story; somewhere they began that signifies their meaning and importance today. In these contemporary times, our lives are a lot more complicated and complex than the simpler times of hundreds of years ago. This newfound complexity comes with a large public misunderstanding about the true origin of many things. For instance, the sport of Lacrosse is a perfect example.

I picked up girls Lacrosse as a sophomore in high school and I have been playing it ever since. I went to a high school that was made up of predominantly African American students and when I began carrying my stick around school I always got the same reactions from either my friends or students I didn't even know. The encounters consistently began with the following remark, “Oh you play lacrosse? But wait, you're black. Isn't that a ‘white people’ sport?” Not only is this beyond ignorant, but this is also extremely false. Lacrosse isn't as popular as other sports so it's sort of understandable why so many people are confused of its origin.

The sport of lacrosse is the oldest sport in North America, with origins dating back as far as 1100 AD in Mesoamerica. Lacrosse, also known as “the fastest sport on two feet,” was played all throughout America and Canada by Native American Indians of various cultures. The game was usually played between two tribes or villages, but it wasn't uncommon for more than two groups to take part in the game. Each team would consist of hundreds (if not thousands) of participants. The tribes rarely played the game to actually have fun. They played to settle disputes; in other words, lacrosse was their form of war. They even played to train young men for war. They used the game as a way of gambling, and sometimes they would even gamble their wives and children.

Lacrosse games would literally last for days, stopping at sunset and continuing the next day at sunrise. The Native Americans didn't use a set field to play the game; they simply used whatever type of large plane was available to them. In our modern day version, lacrosse is played on a field similar to that of a football field and there is a goal at each end of the field. Whereas when the Indians played it, the goals would often be 15 miles apart. A large tree or rock was often designated as the goals for most tribes.

The objective of the game was to pass the ball with your stick to a teammate who is on your team and hit the designated goal, or have it pass through the goal post. In the way that Native Americans played it, the game had only one rule: they were not allowed to touch the ball with their hands. There were no out-of-bounds or anything of the sort, so men would often kill to possess the ball. Dodging their opponent was a cowardly move, although they wore no protective gear whatsoever. It was seen as a sign of bravery if they ran fearlessly right into their opponent. The ability to pass and catch the ball was viewed as a complex skill, because the sticks were very different at the time. The ball was made out of wood and deerskin stuffed with hair, baked clay, or sometimes they just used a stone instead.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments