< SECTION 1 OF 2 > Lacrosse Lacrosse is a team sport of Native American origin played using a small solid rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse or lacrosse stick, mainly played on the East Coast of the United States and Canada. The head of the lacrosse stick is strung with loose mesh designed to catch and hold the lacrosse ball. Offensively, the objective of the game is to score by shooting the ball into an opponent’s goal, using the lacrosse stick to catch, carry, and pass the ball to do so. 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. The sport has four major types: men’s field lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, box lacrosse, and intercrosse. Lacrosse (in particular, box lacrosse) is the national summer sport of Canada. Lacrosse, a relatively popular team sport in the Americas, may have developed as early as the 5th century, but since then has undergone many modifications. In the traditional Native Canadian 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. These lacrosse games lasted from sunup to sundown for two to three days straight. These games were played as part of a ceremonial ritual to give thanks to the Creator. 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 For more information see: Licensed under the CC-BY-SA: PassageBank Passage provided under license from Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. < SECTION 2 OF 2 > 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. The game was said to be played “for the Creator” or was referred to as “The Creator’s Game.” The French Jesuit missionary Jean de Brébeuf saw Iroquois tribesmen play it in 1637 and was the first European to write about the game. He called it la crosse (“the stick”). Some say the name originated from the French term for field hockey, le jeu de la crosse. Others suggest that it was named after the crosier, a staff carried by bishops. In the United States, lacrosse during the 1900s had primarily been a regional sport centered in and around the east coast, more common in areas such as Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In the last half of the 20th century, the sport continued further growth west of this region in smaller areas, including the Midwest, such as Ohio and Texas as well as the west coast, including Arizona, Utah, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. In the past decade, the sport has continued to grow in large numbers nationwide, with particular development in the southeast, such as Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, the Midwest, and the west coast. Lacrosse is currently the fastest growing sport in the Midwest. Lacrosse is popular all across Canada. For more information see: Licensed under the CC-BY-SA: PassageBank Passage provided under license from Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only.

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