Tuesday, March 3, 2009
In many Eastern and Northern Native American societies/tribes the sport was often part of religious ritual, played to resolve conflicts, heal the sick develop strong, virile men and as a preparation for war. Legend tells of games with over 100 players from different tribes taking turns in the contest. It could be played on a field many miles in length and width and sometimes lasted for days. Early lacrosse balls were made out of deerskin, clay, stone, and sometimes wood. Lacrosse has played a significant role in the community and religious life of tribes across the continent for many years. Early lacrosse was characterized by deep spiritual involvement, befitting the spirit of combat in which it was undertaken. Those who took part did so in the role of warriors, with the goal of bringing glory and honor to themselves and their tribes. The game was said to be played "for the Creator" or referred to as "The Creator's Game".
Lacrosse is the oldest team sport in North America. It may have developed as early as the 1100s, but since then it has seen many modifications. In the traditional Native American version, each team consisted of about 100 to 1,000 men on a field that stretched from about 500 yards to a couple of miles long. These lacrosse games lasted from sunup to sundown for two to three days straight. These games were played to give thanks to the Creator.
Known as the "fastest game on two feet," the sport is popular in North America but is played internationally with increasing popularity. It is the official national summer sport of Canada.