Travel through the eras of
history and the development of the various nations that
make up Canada today.
A Short History of Lacrosse in
Lacrosse, which the Native People of North
America knew under many different names such as
Baggataway or Tewaarathon, played a significant
role in the community and religious life of
tribes across the continent for untold years.
Its origin lost in the antiquity of myth,
Lacrosse remains a notable contribution of the
Native culture to modern Canadian society.
Native Lacrosse was characterized by a deeply
spiritual involvement, and those who took part
did so with dedicated spirit and with the
highest ideals of bringing glory to themselves
and their tribes, and honour to the participants
and the tribes to which they belonged.
the 1840s the first games of Lacrosse were
played between the townsfolk and the Native
People. Though it was many years before any
significant wins were logged against the
Natives, the game of Lacrosse was quickly
winning the loyalty and interest of the newest
North Americans. Lacrosse was named Canada's
National Game by Parliament in 1859. In 1867 the
Montreal Lacrosse Club, headed by Dr. George
Beers, organized a conference in Kingston in
order to create a national body whose purpose
would be to govern the sport throughout the
newly formed country. The National Lacrosse
Association became the first national sport
governing body in North America dedicated to the
governance of a sport, the standardization of
rules and competition, and the running of
national championships to promote good
fellowship and unity across the country. The
unforgettable motto of the organization was:
COUNTRY - OUR GAME"
Lacrosse, because of its unique history, exists
as a link between the disparate components of
Canadian history, First Nations and European
Settler. It remains the rare occurrence in which
an element of native culture was accepted and
embraced by Canadian society. The European
concepts of structure and rules were added to
the religious and social rituals of the first
North Americans, and together produced one of
the first symbols of the new Canada, Lacrosse.
The advent of the 20th century saw Lacrosse as
the dominant sport in Canada. There were
extensive amateur and professional leagues
across the country and teams routinely traveled
from Quebec and Ontario to B.C. and vice versa
to challenge for supremacy in the game. In 1901
Lord Minto, the Governor General of Canada,
donated a silver cup to become the symbol of the
championship of Canada. The Minto Cup, today the
symbol of supremacy in the Junior ranks, remains
one of the proudest prizes of Lacrosse. In 1910
Sir Donald Mann, chief architect of the Canadian
Northern Railway, donated a gold cup to be
awarded to the national amateur senior champion.
Today it is the championship prize of the best
Senior team in Box Lacrosse in Canada.
The coming of the 1930s brought innovation once
again to the sport. Promoters married the two
most popular games, Lacrosse and Hockey, and
created Indoor Lacrosse, also known as Box
Lacrosse or Boxla. The game was built upon speed
and action and very quickly won massive support
within the organization. By the mid 30's the
field game had been completely replaced by Boxla
and the box version became the official sport of
the Canadian Lacrosse Association.
The Canadian Lacrosse Association today
recognizes four separate disciplines in the game
of Lacrosse: Box, Men's Field, Women's Field and
Inter-Lacrosse. Box Lacrosse is uniquely a
Canadian game and is best described as a game of
speed and reaction. Men's Field Lacrosse is a
game of patience and strategy which focuses on
control of the ball. The Women's Field game has
stayed truest to the original sport in its play.
It is a game based on the skills of passing and
ball control. Inter-Lacrosse is a non-contact
version of the sport designed to be adaptable to
the various age and skill levels of the
Lacrosse was re-confirmed by Parliament as the
National (Summer) Sport of Canada in 1994.