Fastest Growing Sport in the United States
There are many popular sports in the United States from basketball to baseball to football, but none has seen the astronomical growth that the sport of lacrosse has. It is estimated that lacrosse is growing nationally at a rate of over 10 percent annually. Lacrosse is a composite of basketball, soccer and hockey. In men's lacrosse it, also, adds the element of football. Twenty years ago lacrosse was an East Coast sport played in the New England states, New York and Maryland with the players mostly being from boarding schools. Now with more televised games at the college and professional level the sport has exploded in popularity. Known as the oldest sport in North America with its roots from the Native American Indians, lacrosse, the fastest sport on two feet, has rapidly become the favorite sport in the United States.
The Native American Indians invented the sport of lacrosse. In 1636, a Jesuit missionary, Jean de Brebeuf, saw the Iroquois Indians play. The French named the sport lacrosse because the stick used by the Indians resembled the shepherd's crook- like crosier carried by their bishops. During this period, it was believed that at least 48 tribes from across North America played some type of lacrosse.
The game was played on a field that ranged anywhere from five hundred yards to fifteen miles in length with as little as one hundred to as much as one thousand players. The balls were made from various materials such as deerskin, dried clay, rocks, wood or heads of the enemy. Their goal was a single pole, a tree or a large rock. The object was to hit the opponent's' goal with the ball thrown from their cross (stick). The games could last for days on end and were very grueling and violent. Since there was only one ball and many players, players tried to injure their opponents with their sticks before moving to the goal. Many times there were severe injuries and even death. Games were umpired by the... [continues]
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