Useful Information About Lacrosse

Lacrosse is a sport played by two teams of ten players each for men, or twelve players each for women. The players use netted sticks known as the "crosse." The purpose of the game is to use the "crosse" to pass and catch a ball (made of rubber), and goals are scored by hurling the ball into the opposition net. It is popular mostly in North America, and is the continent's oldest and possibly fastest growing sport. Lacrosse is actively played at the high school, college, youth and professional levels. The sport is especially popular in America's northwestern region; it is also Canada's national summer sport. Colorado, California, Texas and Tennessee have rapidly growing lacrosse communities.

In its current form, a men's lacrosse team consists of ten players: one goaltender, three defensemen, three midfielders and three attackmen. The field is usually grass or artificial turf. It is somewhat necessary for the players to wear helmets and other safety equipment, as body-checking is an essential part of the game. Women generally do without the helmets, but have protective eyewear (the goaltender wears a helmet mask). The protection is comparatively lesser, as hitting is not allowed in the women's game. Minor stick-checks are accepted, though.

The sport was originally invented by Native Americans. Lacrosse was called "dehuntshigwa'es" or "men hit a rounded object" in Onondaga; it was known as "da-nah-wah'uwsdi" or "little war" in Eastern Cherokee; "Tewaarathon" or "little brother of war" in the Mohawk language; and "baaga'adowe" or "the Creator's game" in Ojibwe. Since the game concentrated on just one ball, action sometimes got violent. Players intentionally injured opponents with sticks. Games lasted for days at times, and injuries to players were commonplace. Sometimes, competitors died. Lacrosse played a vital role in the religious and community lives of the tribes. Native American Lacrosse was typified by a profoundly spiritual involvement, and those involved did so with the aim of bringing honor to themselves as well as their tribes.

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