Native Americans have been playing lacrosse in the United States since far before European discovery. The sport is especially popular in the country's northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHSA), 10 million people play high school lacrosse nationwide, and nearly 100,000 players compete in the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
Lacrosse remains popular among students who cannot play field sports because of their size or physical nature. One such group are known as "attackers," who look for large targets on which to score goals.
Another factor contributing to the sport's growth is its ability to be played by individuals of any age or skill level. Although it is commonly associated with young men, women's lacrosse has grown significantly in recent years.
In addition to field games, lacrosse is also played at the college level. In fact, there are more than 200 men's and women's teams across the country. Many major universities have men's teams that compete in national tournaments, while others have women's teams that do the same thing.
The most famous arena in which to find lacrosse players is at Harvard University.
Lacrosse is one of North America's oldest team sports. There is evidence that a form of lacrosse first appeared in what is now Canada in the 17th century. Native American lacrosse was popular across contemporary Canada, but especially around the Great Lakes, the Mid-Atlantic coast, and the American South. It is believed that English settlers brought basketball instead.
The modern game of lacrosse is a complete sport in itself. However, historians have also found evidence of older forms of the game played with sticks and balls dating back as early as 1668. The first written reference to a version of lacrosse called "laxball" appears in a Philadelphia newspaper in 1835. This early version of the sport would have been very similar to modern field hockey.
There is no clear answer where or how the first lacrosse games were played, but it is known that they included both men and women players who formed teams to compete against each other. There are reports of women playing lacrosse as early as 1720, which makes it the first officially recognized sport for females in America. Men began joining women later, but the men's version of the sport didn't become official until 1823 when it was introduced by students at Georgetown University. Since then, lacrosse has become one of the most popular sports among males of all ages worldwide.
Georgetown is not the only school to introduce this sport.
Lacrosse evolved as a tribal game played by Native Americans in the eastern woodlands and certain Plains tribes in what is now the United States of America and Canada. The earliest evidence of lacrosse comes from 16th-century paintings on wooden panels and tells us that it was popular among several North American Indian tribes. There are no written records describing the rules of lacrosse, but we know it was a fast-moving game played by a team of 11 players. Each player had a stick and a ball made from a vulcanized rubber bladder covered with leather or cloth.
The first written account of lacrosse is found in George Washington's diary on August 2, 1789. He wrote that one of his officers had brought him some balls made from the bladders of goats'. These early balls were probably filled with air and did not have any stitches to close them. As time went by, people began to make the balls more closely resemble the modern ball in size and shape. They also started using strings to hold the balls together.
In Europe, people started playing a similar game called "catch" which later became rugby. Both games used a ball that could be thrown or kicked and require skill to catch or return. Although both games have many similarities, there are some differences between them.