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What is Lacrosse

The following content was created by USA Lacrosse:

What is Lacrosse?


Lacrosse showcases the best of sports — speed, athleticism, skill, heart, determination — and it’s a recipe for a lifelong love affair. Originated by Native Americans, lacrosse is North America's first sport and has picked up tremendous momentum in recent years. No other sport is growing faster at the high school or college level, resulting in countless opportunities for young men to make their mark.


Lacrosse was originated by Native Americans and is the oldest sport played on the North American continent. First documented in the 17th century, lacrosse began to be played in the United States at the collegiate level in the late 19th century. Lacrosse was first played in the Olympics in 1904 and the first international championship recognized by World Lacrosse was held in 1967.


Lacrosse has been the fastest-growing team sport in the United States for most of the last two decades. There are now nearly 400 NCAA varsity men’s programs today, up from just 262 in 2010. Similar growth has occurred at the youth and high school levels as America continues to further embrace the continent’s first sport.


Boys field players are required to use a helmet, stick, gloves, shoulder pads, arm pads, a mouthguard and a protective cup. Rib pads are optional. Goalies are also required to wear a helmet with face mask, a separate throat protector, padded gloves and a chest protector.


The rules of men’s lacrosse are designed with safety in mind and to ensure fair competition. USA Lacrosse, the National Federation of State High School Associations and the National Collegiate Athletic Association write the rules for the sport in the United States and the organizations often work together on rule development and player safety. See our rules page for more information.


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