Its crazy a little to me to see that a sport I never played, and wasnt even being played at the high school level when I was involved in prep sports, is now so popular its making strides against high school sport classics like football, baseball and soccer. Kids in droves are coming out for lacrosse and this crazy looking combination of hockey and soccer is hotter than sunburn. All ages, boys and girls, school teams, club teams - you name it. Right now I don't get it, but hey, the masses have spoken and they love lacrosse. I have to say, I'm on the outside looking in on this one, like I said, I never played it and truthfully, when I've watched it on TV I cant say I have bitten by the bug of this hot sport. Its here to stay though, as proven by long running successful events like the event coming to Greater Lansing tomorrow: 11th Annual Great Lakes Lacrosse Invitational: July 10-12, 2015. The event will bring high school, club and even some college teams from all over (teams from CO, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, NC, NY, OH, TN, WI and Canada) for top-notch competition at Hope Sports Complex and Waverly Sports Complex.
How did Lacrosse get so popular? Where did it all start? This is what I was able to learn.
Lacrosse was one of many varieties of indigenous stickball games being played by Native American at the time of European contact. At first almost exclusively a male team sport, it is distinguished from the others, such as field hockey or shinny, by the use of a netted racquet with which to pick the ball off the ground, throw, catch and convey it into or past a goal to score a point. The cardinal rule in all varieties of lacrosse was that the ball, with few exceptions, must not be touched with the hands.
Early data on lacrosse, from missionaries such as French Jesuits in Huron country in the 1630s and English explorers, such as Jonathan Carver in the mid-eighteenth century Great Lakes area, are scant and often conflicting. They inform us mostly about team size, equipment used, the duration of games and length of playing fields but tell us almost nothing about stickhandling, game strategy, or the rules of play. The oldest surviving sticks date only from the first quarter of the nineteenth century, and the first detailed reports on Indian lacrosse are even later.
If there are young people in your life you know about Lacrosse, either a lot, or a little - and as we've seen here, this sport has been around a long time, but just now is hitting an all-time high for popularity. Come out to the sites this weekend and check out the action as the sport of lacrosse spreads its wings and takes American youth by storm!