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.
Lacrosse is a team sport that is played using a small solid rubber ball and a long-handled racquet called a crosse or lacrosse stick. The head of the lacrosse stick is strung with loose netting that is designed to hold the lacrosse ball.
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.
Offensively, the objective of the game is to use the lacrosse stick to catch, carry, and pass the ball in an effort to score by ultimately shooting the ball into an opponent’s goal, much like basketball offense is played.
Defensively, the objective is to keep the opposing team from scoring and to dispossess them of the ball through the use of stick checking and body contact or positioning. There are two main versions of the sport: field lacrosse and box lacrosse.
Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing team sports in the United States. Youth membership (ages 15 and under) in US Lacrosse has more than tripled since 1999 to nearly 100,000. No sport has grown faster at the high school level over the last 10 years and there are now more than 130,000 high school players. Lacrosse is also the fastest-growing sport over the last five years at the NCAA level and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are more than 500 college club programs, the majority of which compete under the umbrella of US Lacrosse and its “intercollegiate associates” level.
In the Hampton Roads area, our youth leagues have experienced a 20% annual growth over the past 3 years.