Do You Know Much About Canada’s National Sport?
I went to the watch the Monsignor Martin League lacrosse championship game yesterday at Nichols School field. Bishop Timon rolled to a decisive win over St. Joe’s to take the title. I’ve been learning the finer points of the game over the past year and also set out to learn more about its history.
It’s a sport played almost exclusively in Canada and United States and is becoming increasingly popular in this country. It’s lacrosse – almost like hockey except played on a field with the idea of scoring into the opponent’s net with a ball using a stick.
Most people think hockey is Canada’s national sport, but actually it’s lacrosse. A French explorer was the first to write about it and he called it lacrosse – meaning “the stick”.
Lacrosse traces its history to North American Indians. Early versions of it involved up to a thousand men to a side on a field nearly a mile long. These games lasted all day, from sunrise to sunset. Sometimes they lasted several days and it was in honor of “the Creator” and was known as “the Creator’s game.” It was played to bring honor and glory to both the tribe and to God.
By the late 1800’s, high schools, colleges and universities were playing the game under rules that called for 12 men to a side on a field about the size of a football field. The game today is played with 10 men to a side including the goalie.
Mainly played in Canada and the northeastern United States – the sport is growing across the United States, especially in the midwest and in the southern states.