While many of you are probably familiar with ice hockey and associate it as Canada’s sport, you may be surprised to discover that it has only become the national sport of Canada since 1994. On the other hand, Lacrosse has long been (unofficially) declared the national sport of Canada and I think that it deserves much more recognition than it has been given.
Lacrosse is one of the oldest organized sports in North America and was originally played by First Nations in Upper Canada more than 500 years ago! It is a team sport in which players pass, catch, and carry a rubber ball, using sticks with a netted pouch at one end. Like most team sports, the object is to shoot the ball at the opposing team’s goal.
Since its origin, lacrosse has been divided into four distinct games: men’s field lacrosse, women’s field lacrosse, box lacrosse, and inter-crosse. The key difference between men’s and women’s field lacrosse is that the men play with 10 people on each team with contact, while the women play with 12 people on each team without contact.
Box lacrosse emerged in the 1930s where empty hockey arenas are taken advantage of during the summer. Inter-Crosse is the newest form of lacrosse designed for new players and is much safer using plastic sticks and a lightweight ball.
Today, many lacrosse fans still consider lacrosse as the true Canadian national sport. It is played by tens of thousands of people across North America and remains an important part of native culture.
Have you ever tried playing it or even heard of this sport? If not, check out the Canadian Lacrosse Association for more information.
Or, you can join us at BC’s Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and we can learn more about the sports of Canada! Sounds good?