Cliff Kigar Outlines Lacrosse’s History

Not only is lacrosse fun to play, but it also has a rich history, dating back hundreds of years and originating with the Native Americans. Teams consisted of entire Native American villages, and the sport was considered a good preparation for war.

Europeans began playing after they saw the Native Americans compete. The sport received its modern name when Frenchmen thought the playing stick resembled “la crosse,” the curved portion of a bishop’s staff. Canadians began playing in the 19th century, and they soon established a governing body and written rules. Only after the American Civil War did the sport became popular in the United States, and teams often sprang up on college campuses that sponsored ice hockey. In fact, the original rules of hockey derived from Canadian lacrosse rules.

Committees chose collegiate champions until 1971, when the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) launched a nationwide tournament. Many colleges have club teams, run by students, existing alongside their varsity counterparts. Today, women’s lacrosse is growing, too; the women’s game is substantially different from men’s lacrosse, with smaller sticks, less protective gear, and prohibitions against body contact.

About Cliff Kigar: When he is not playing lacrosse or competing in cross country at his high school, Cliff Kigar enjoys sailing, skimboarding, swimming, basketball, and playing guitar.

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