Lacrosse is the oldest team sport in North America, having been played by Native American tribes long before any European had even set foot on the continent. A century after European missionaries discovered the game played by Native Americans, they began to play it themselves, starting in the 18th century. From there, it evolved and grew in popularity from a very savage game that resembled war, into what it is today, a recreational sport played widely in America and other countries. As U.S. Lacrosse literature aptly puts it "Lacrosse is a game born of the North American Indian, christened by the French, adopted and raised by the Canadians, and later dominated by the Americans." When the first people of America started playing lacrosse centuries ago, the game served many purposes. It was played to amuse the Creator, to train young men for war, and to settle disputes between tribes (Source B). The game was played by tribes in all parts of the United States and Canada; it was played by the Mexican Kickapoo in Texas, the Seminole in Florida, the Bungi in Manitoba, the Cherokee in Tennessee, and the Passamaquoddy in Maine (Source B). The game was called Baggattaway, meaning they bump hips by the Algonquin tribe, and Tewaarathon, meaning little brother of war, by the Iroquois tribe (Source B). In the earliest times of American Indian lacrosse, the game had few rules, if any. Lacrosse games would last for days, stopping at sunset and continuing the next day at sunrise. The fields had no boundaries, and goals were usually between 500 yards to a half-mile apart, though sometimes they were several miles apart (Source A). The goals were usually marked by a single tree or a large rock, and points were scored by hitting it with the ball. There were no limitations on the number of players on a team, and often there would be as many as one thousand players in a lacrosse game at the same time (Source A). The game was especially violent when used as an alternative to war to...
Cited: Lund, Peter Bailey. Lacrosse: a History of the Game. (Source A)
Vennum, Thomas. American Indian Lacrosse. (Source B)
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