Lacrosse was originated by the native Americans. By playing the game, the young men of the tribe prepared for battle. In a later stage, the game was even used to settle conflicts between tribes. The field did not have fixed dimensions and the games could last up to three days.
It was a French man that gave the name ‘lacrosse’ to the sport. The name refers to the stick (crosse) and the describtion of the game ‘le jue de LA CROSSE’ (the game with the stick).
In 1856, the first lacrosse club was established by a Canadian dentist, Dr. W.G. Beers, in Montreal. The rules were changed and the sport turned into the game as we know it today. Two years later, the first game was played between Montreal and Toronot (1-3).
Today, we play lacrosse with a stick (crosse). The stick consists of a shaft with a pocket at one end. The pocket is used to throw and catch the ball. The ball can be played via the ground and air and is made of rubber. It has about the size of a baseball. You can run as long as you like while holding the ball . However, another player can use her or his stick to ‘check’ the stick of the opponent in order to drop the ball and catch it. In the end, each team aims to score as many goals as possible. Each goal equals one point. The goal is situated within the field, so it’s allowed to move behind the goal while the game is on. In the Netherlands, lacrosse is played on a hockey- or soccer field.
The rules for women’s and men’s lacrosse differ, as does the required gear. With men’s lacrosse, active physical contact is allowed. Therefore, the men wear helmets, padding and a stick with a deeper net. The stick of the attacker is shorter (short stick) than the stick of the defenders (long pole). With women’s lacrosse, passive physical contact is allowed. Women are only required to wear a mouthguard and safety goggles. The pocket of a women’s stick is less deep, making it technically more difficult to control the ball.