History of Modern Lacrosse

The precursor to modern lacrosse. The word comes from the Iroquois language meaning "little brother of war". Like ancestors of soccer or football involved village against village competition.

The young men of the village would use sticks looped and netted at the end to move a ball, usually a stone, to a goal. The goals could be hundreds of yards or a mile or more apart, this could be a tree or a boulder in the opposing village. A goal was scored when the ball struck it. There was little passing as there could be one hundred or more players around the ball using any means necessary to gain possession.

The women and children of each village would stand around the mob of players and motivate any passive players not trying to get into the fray. This motivation came in the form beatings from switches that they were carrying.

More organized forms of the game were played as demonstrations for the French in the 17th and 18th centuries along what is now the St. Lawrence Seaway and Central New York State. The French noted how the sticks resembled the ceremonial shepherd's crook carried by bishop's that they called a "crosse", hence the name of the modern game.

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