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Lacrosse: The Beginning

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Although lacrosse is not the most popular sport, it is considered to be America's first sport. The sport of lacrosse is a combination of hockey, football, soccer, and basketball. Lacrosse is the oldest sport in North America dating all the way back to the 1400's. After it was brought upon by the North American Indians, the French christened it, and the Canadians helped raise it. It was first played by the Indians to settle their disputes. The early history of lacrosse shows that it was a game to get young men ready for war. Lacrosse games back then would last from sun up to sun down and could last up to 3 days. The Indian game was a tough, often brutal game. Sticks were used as clubs to strike opponents. A game could consist of a thousand players and spread over miles of rough terrain. Trees or rocks would be used to mark the goals. The object of the game was to score a goal by throwing the ball into a net, which was guarded by a goalie, and one rule that remains constant with any rules of lacrosse is that the ball cannot be touched by any of the players' hands. It wasn't until the early 1800's that the French started to turn lacrosse into a more civilized game. It is Canada's national sport, and is also widely played in the northeastern United States. Players use sticks with a net at one end. The object of the game is to throw, scoop or kick a small rubber ball into the opposing team's goal. The French-Canadians called the head of the stick la crosse because it resembled a bishop's cross. Then in 1877 New York University was the first school to establish a college lacrosse team. Today the game is played by over 500 Colleges and Universities and has become a Major League sport.



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