Club Sport of the Week: Men’s Lacrosse

Throughout the history of North America, lacrosse has been a constant. The Native Americans believed that lacrosse had a spiritual significance, as shown by the beginning face-off when the players would hold their sticks in the air and shout out to get the gods’ attention. Sometimes the games were played to appeal to the gods for healing or for settling disputes between tribes.

The Sauk and Ojibway tribes staged a lacrosse match in now what is Michigan, but the French missionaries at Fort Michilimackinac were the ones who gave the sport its name. The missionaries thought that the sticks used in the game resembled the crosier, or le crosse, carried by bishops during that time period. In the 1840’s, the French settlers in Canada began playing the game. 1844 saw the first game between settlers and a native tribe, played at Montreal’s Olympic Club. After this game, the Montreal Lacrosse Club was founded in 1856 and established the first written set of rules. These rules set standard field dimensions, as well as team size. George Beers, a Canadian dentist, became the father of modern lacrosse when he revised the rules and had them accepted by the National Lacrosse Association of Canada in 1867.

The sport actually became so popular in Canada that it was named the national sport, although Canada now has two national sports (ice hockey and lacrosse). From Canada, lacrosse spread to the US, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Australia. The first international match was played between Canada and the US in 1867, with the first Olympic medals in lacrosse being awarded in 1904 and 1908. Although lacrosse was a demonstration sport in the Olympics of 1928, 1932, and 1948, it has not returned to the Olympic stage.

The Colorado School of Mines Men’s Lacrosse program has only been in existence since 1990, but has grown to be a powerhouse in the Rocky Mountain Region. The currently has 25 members, ranging from freshmen to graduate students. The team competes in two different types of competition in the fall and the spring. The fall sees the team competing mainly in tournaments, as it is the off-season. In the spring season (late February to late April), the team plays individual games, both home and away. The home games are played on the IM North Field. When the schedule is confirmed for the 2013 season, it will be posted on the team’s website (

Anyone is welcome to come play with the team – no experience is required. Please contact the team’s president, David Bull, at for more information.

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