Lacrosse is the oldest sport in America. Early French and English settlers observed the natives in the area playing a team sport where each player had a stick with a net on the end where they could throw a ball back and forth to find a “goal” to score points. Early Lacrosse is very different from today’s game. Matches would feature hundreds of players and span two to three days. Usually, these matches served a spiritual function like as a part of a funeral ceremony.
As the immigrants became more aware of the sport and saw how it was played, they began forming their own teams and games. In Montreal, a Canadian dentist decided to build the first Lacrosse Club in 1860. He was the first one to create rules for the game. He limited each team to 12 players and shortened the game. The first recorded game with the new rules wasn’t until 1867, but men’s and women’s clubs started popping up all over Canada and into the United States.
The beginning of the 20th century saw the sport limited to the Northeast states of the US, but soon, the game spread all over the country and can now be found almost everywhere. The popularity of the sport continues to rise including the foundation of professional Lacrosse leagues.
Although still most wildly popular in high schools and colleges across the country, Major League Lacrosse (MLL), National Lacrosse League (NLL), and the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) are all growing leagues still trying to catch fire.