About the Game
Lacrosse, considered to be America's first sport, was born of the North American Indian, christened by the French, and adapted and raised by the Canadians. Modern lacrosse has been embraced by athletes and enthusiasts of the United States and the British Commonwealth for over a century.
The sport of lacrosse is a combination of basketball, soccer and hockey. Anyone can play lacrosse--the big or the small. The game requires and rewards coordination and agility, not brawn. Quickness and speed are two highly prized qualities in lacrosse. An exhilarating sport, lacrosse is fast-paced and full of action. Long sprints up and down the field with abrupt starts and stops, precision passes and dodges are routine in men's and women's lacrosse. Lacrosse is played with a stick, the crosse, which must be mastered by the player to throw, catch and scoop the ball.
Today's lacrosse enthusiasts play this primarily amateur sport for love rather than financial reward. Two professional leagues (National Lacrosse League, indoor; Major League Lacrosse, outdoor) dot the North American landscape. But long after the more high profile collegiate athletes have used their skills to enter the professional sports arena, the finest men and women lacrosse players are using their talents in the dynamic amateur competition known as 'club' lacrosse.
Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing team sports in the United States. Youth membership (ages 15 and under) in US Lacrosse has doubled since 1999 to over 60,000. The National Federation of State High School Associations reported that in 2001 better than 74,000 students played high lacrosse. With club teams, private schools, and states not yet having sanctioned lacrosse, high school-aged participation is actually much higher. Varsity collegiate participation has grown by one-third since 1995, and collegiate and post-collegiate club teams field thousands of players as well. More data appears below.
Once a minor pastime played in the shadows of baseball stadiums in the Northeast of the United States, lacrosse has become a national sport with more than 250,000 active players.