The evolution of lacrosse

The game was christened ‘lacrosse’ by early French observers who referred to the game as le jeu de la crosse (the game of the stick) and the shorthand version ‘lacrosse’ was adopted shortly after. The term ‘crosse’ is a widely used French word meaning a bat or a stick used in a ball game. It was then that a French Jesuit Missionary, Jean de Brébeuf saw the game played by Iroquois Natives and later introduced the game to the west.

Lacrosse came centuries before the traditional American games of basketball, baseball and football dominated the sporting interests of the nation. Monsieur de Sabrevois, commandant of Fort Pontchartrain wrote a description of the game in 1718, referring to a village near Fort Pontchartrain and outlining something drastically different to the modern incarnation.

Indeed, it was only in 1892 that the foundations of the modern game were laid in this country, with the creation of the English Lacrosse Union (ELU). This was followed in 1897 with the development of the North of England Lacrosse League, when ten clubs began playing an a regular basis. A century later, in 1997, the English Lacrosse Association was formed after efforts from ‘Sport England’ and the ‘All England Women’s Lacrosse Association’.