Did you know that lacrosse is considered by many to be the very first sport played in North America? The game was actually invented by aboriginal Indians, who passed on the sport to the incoming French colonizers. Lacrosse has been around for hundreds of years, although it wasn't until 1867 that the sport became as recognizable as it is now - thanks to the efforts of a Canadian dentist named W. George Beers, who came up with the basic rules that still exist today. Lacrosse is one of the few sports that has almost entirely different rules for men and women, so let's take a look at those differences and find out why lacrosse is becoming more and more popular!
Lacrosse - A Guy Thing
It probably won't come as much of a surprise to learn that the male version of lacrosse is quite aggressive, much more so than the female version. The game is essentially a cross between hockey, football, and soccer, integrating parts of all three of those sports into its rules. With ten players on each side, the object of the game is to fling the ball into the opposing team's net. Unlike football, though, only the goalie is allowed to touch the ball. Everyone else must us the crosse, which is a stick with a net attached to it. Players are allowed to body check only if an opponent has the ball or is near the ball, otherwise no contact between players is allowed. The game goes for 60 minutes, and is divided into four quarters.
Lacrosse - Ladies Night
The idea of women's lacrosse is pretty much the same as men's - get the little ball into the net - but the similarities end there. With 12 players on each team and 60-minute matches that are divided in half, the game places more of an emphasis on speed than on strength. While body checking isn't allowed, players are allowed to try and steal the ball by hitting their opponent's crosse with their own crosse. Women's lacrosse depends a lot more on teamwork, since the best way to win a match is to keep passing the ball before an opponent can grab it away from you. In both versions of the game, the goal is to be the team with the most points when time runs out. It's interesting to note that the women's version of lacrosse is very similar to what the game looked like hundreds of years ago.
Lacrosse - Sport of the Future
Would it surprise you to learn that lacrosse is currently the fastest growing sport in North America? There are now two professional lacrosse leagues - Major League Lacrosse and The National Lacrosse League - and the game is popping up in schools and clubs all over the country. So, if you're a fan of football, hockey, or soccer, you'll probably get a kick out of lacrosse!