AskDefine | Define lacrosse

Dictionary Definition

lacrosse n : a game invented by American indians; now played by two teams who use long-handled rackets to catch and carry and throw the ball toward the opponents' goal

User Contributed Dictionary

see Lacrosse

English

Etymology

Borrowed from la crosse.

Noun

  1. In the context of "sports": A sport played on a field between two opposing teams using sticks (crosses) and a ball, whereby one team defeats the other by achieving a higher score by scoring goals within the allotted time.

Translations

the sport
  • Arabic: m
  • Bulgarian: лакрос
  • Catalan: lacrosse
  • Chinese
    Simplified: 长曲棍球 (cháng qū gùn qiú)
    Traditional: 長曲棍球
  • Croatian: lakros
  • Czech: lakros
  • Danish: lacrosse
  • Dutch: lacrosse
  • Esperanto: kanada bastonludo
  • Estonian: kahvpall
  • Finnish: haavipallo
  • French: la crosse
  • German: Lacrosse
  • Greek: λακρός
  • Irish: crosógaíocht
  • Italian: lacrosse
  • Japanese: ラクロス
  • Korean: 라크로스 (rakeuroseu)
  • Norwegian: lacrosse
  • Polish: lacrosse
  • Portuguese: lacrosse
  • Russian: лакросс
  • Scottish Gaelic: lacrosse
  • Spanish: lacrosse
  • Swedish: lacrosse
  • Ukrainian: лакросс

Catalan

Etymology

Noun

  1. lacrosse

References

Danish

Etymology

Noun

  1. lacrosse

References

Dutch

Etymology

Noun

  1. lacrosse

References

Italian

Etymology

Noun

  1. lacrosse

References

Norwegian

Etymology

Noun

  1. lacrosse

References

Polish

Etymology

Noun

  1. lacrosse

References

Portuguese

Etymology

Noun

  1. lacrosse

References

Etymology

Noun

  1. lacrosse

References

Spanish

Etymology

Noun

  1. lacrosse

References

Swedish

Etymology

Noun

  1. lacrosse

References

Extensive Definition

Lacrosse is a full contact team sport played using a small solid rubber ball and long handled racket called a crosse or lacrosse stick. The head of the crosse has a loose net strung into it that allows the player to hold the lacrosse ball. Offensively the object of the game is to use the stick to catch, carry, and pass the ball in an effort to score by ultimately hurling the ball into an opponent's goal. Defensively the object is to keep the opposing team from scoring and to dispossess them of the ball through the use of stick checking and body contact. There are two main versions of the game; outdoor or field lacrosse and indoor or box lacrosse. The two versions of the sport differ in that field lacrosse is played with ten players to a side on a field roughly the size of a soccer pitch while box lacrosse is played with six players per side in an enclosure similar to that of an ice hockey rink.

History of lacrosse

mainarticle History of lacrosse
It has often been assumed that the name lacrosse stems from the resemblance that a traditional wooden lacrosse stick bears to a bishop's crosier. Jesuit missionary Jean-de-Brébeuf noted this resemblance in the Relation des Jésuites around 1640. However, the word crosse in the French of that time period was a general term used for any type of staff. The name lacrosse is simply a reflection of this and is perhaps shorthand for the phrase "le jeu de la crosse" (the game of the hooked stick).
In Native American society lacrosse served several different purposes. The sport was used for conflict resolution, the training of young warriors, and as a religious ritual. Games could be played on a pitch over a mile wide and sometimes lasted for days. Early lacrosse balls were made out of deerskin, clay, stone, and sometimes wood. Lacrosse has played a significant role in the community and religious life of tribes across the continent for many years. Early lacrosse was characterized by deep spiritual involvement, befitting the spirit of combat in which it was undertaken. Those who took part did so in the role of warriors, with the goal of bringing glory and honor to themselves and their tribes. The game was said to be played "for the pleasure of the Creator."
Lacrosse has witnessed significant modifications since its origins in the 17th century, but many aspects of the sport remain the same. In the Native North American version, each team consisted of about 100 to 1,000 men on a field that stretched from about 500 yards to a couple of miles long. These lacrosse games lasted from sunup to sundown for two to three days. These games were played to settle inter-tribal disputes, to toughen young warriors in preparation for future combat and to give thanks to the Creator. The Alqonquin tribes referred to the sport as "baggatway".
In 1856, Dr. William George Beers, a Canadian dentist, founded Montreal Lacrosse Club and in 1867 he codified the game, shortening the length of each game and reducing the number of players to ten per team.
In the United States, lacrosse had been primarily been a regional sport centered in and around New England,upstate New York, Long Island and the Mid-Atlantic States. In recent years however, its popularity has started to spread south to Georgia and Florida, as well as west to Colorado, California, Texas, and the Midwest, spurred by the sport's increasing visibility in the media, the growth of college, high school, and youth (or "pee wee") programs throughout the country. The NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship is the most attended NCAA Championship, outdrawing the Final Four of men's basketball. The growth of lacrosse was also facilitated by the introduction of plastic heads in the 1970s by Baltimore-based STX. This innovation reduced the weight and cost of the lacrosse stick, and allowed for faster passes and game play than traditional wooden sticks.
Up until the 1930s all lacrosse was played on large fields outdoors. Around this time the owners of Canadian hockey arenas invented a reduced version of the game, called box lacrosse, as a means to make more profit from their arena investments. Through this commercialization, in a short period of time, box lacrosse became the dominant form of the sport in Canada. More recently field lacrosse has witnessed a revival in Canada as the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association began operating a collegiate men's league in 1985 that now includes 12 varsity teams.
In 1987 a professional box lacrosse league was started called the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League. Eventually this league would change its name to the National Lacrosse League and grow to encompass lacrosse clubs in twelve cities scattered throughout the United States and Canada. In the summer of 2001 a professional field lacrosse league known as Major League Lacrosse (MLL) was inaugurated. Initially starting with six teams the MLL has grown to a total of ten clubs located in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States. In July of 2007 Major League Lacrosse set the professional lacrosse attendance record when nearly 20,000 fans attended a game at Invesco Field in Denver, Colorado.

Rules

Outdoor men's lacrosse involves two teams, each competing to project a small ball of solid rubber into the opposing team's goal. Each team starts with ten players on the field: a goalkeeper or "goalie"; three defenders in the defensive end; three midfielders free to roam the whole field; and three attackers attempting to score goals in the offensive end. Each quarter starts with a “face-off” in which the ball is placed on the ground and two “face-off-men” lay their stick horizontally next to the ball, head of the stick inches from the ball and the butt-end pointing down the midfield line.
Play is quite fast and fluid with typical games totaling ten to twenty goals.

Playing Field and Equipment measurments

Canadians most commonly play box lacrosse, an indoor version of the game played by teams of six on ice hockey rinks where the ice has been removed or covered by artificial turf. The enclosed playing area is called a box, in contrast to the open playing field of the traditional game. This version of the game was introduced in the 1930s to promote business for hockey arenas, and within a several years had nearly supplanted field lacrosse in Canada.
In box lacrosse the goal is smaller ( than in outdoor lacrosse, and the goaltender wears much more protective padding. Indoor lacrosse is always played on artificial turf (sometimes called "carpet"), while box lacrosse is usually played on bare concrete.

Women's lacrosse

Independent Schools, and while only a minor sport in Australia, it is played to a very high standard at the elite level, where its national squad won the 2005 Women's Lacrosse World Cup. The next Women's World Cup will be played in 2009 hosted by Prague, Czech Republic.

International lacrosse

Lacrosse has been played for the most part in Canada and the United States, with small but dedicated lacrosse communities in Great Britain and Australia. Recently, however, lacrosse has begun to flourish at an international level with the sport establishing itself in many new and far-reaching countries, particularly in Europe and east Asia.
With lacrosse not having been an official Olympic sport since 1908, the pinnacle of international lacrosse competition consists of the quadrennial World Championships. Currently, there are world championships for lacrosse at senior men, senior women, under 19 men and under 19 women level. Until 1986, lacrosse world championships had only been contested by the United States, Canada, England and Australia, with Scotland and Wales also competing in the women's edition. The expansion of the game internationally saw the 2005 Women's World Cup competed for by ten nations, and the 2006 Men's World Championship was contested by 21 countries.
In 2003, the first World Indoor Lacrosse Championship was contested by six nations at four sites in Ontario, Canada. Canada won the championship in a final game against the Iroqouis, 21-4. The 2007 WILC was held in Halifax, Canada on from May 14-20. Teams from Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Iroquois Nationals, Scotland and the United States competed.
The next largest international field lacrosse competition is the European Lacrosse Championships. Held for both men and women, the European Lacrosse Federation (ELF) has been running the European Championships since 1995. Before 2001 the Championships were an annual event, but in 2001 the ELF changed the format to every four years between the World Championship. Before 2004, only 7 nations had ever participated, but in 2004 there was a record number of participating countries, with 12 men's and 6 women's, which made it the largest international lacrosse event of 2004. The next European Lacrosse Championships will be held in Lahti, Finland in 2008.
The World Lacrosse Championships have been dominated by the United States, particularly in the men's game, where the only world championship game losses at either level was in the 1978 final to Canada and 2006 final to Canada. The USA has won 8 of the 10 senior men's and all five under 19 men's tournaments to date. In the women's game, Australia have provided stiffer competition, even holding a winning record against the USA of 6 wins to 5 at senior world championships, plus one draw. Despite this, the USA has won 5 of the 7 senior women's and 2 of the 3 under 19 women's tournaments to date, with the other world championships won by Australia, including the 2005 senior women's trophy.
The Iroquois Nationals are a team consisting of members of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. The team was admitted to the International Lacrosse Federation (ILF) in 1990. It is the only Native American team sanctioned to compete in any sport internationally. The Nationals placed fourth in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Lacrosse Championships.

Further reading

  • Inside Lacrosse (2003). Lacrosse: North America's Game. Baltimore, Maryland [(Inside Lacrosse)] Press. ISBN 0-9759834-0-7
  • Fisher, Donald M (2002). Lacrosse: A History of the Game. Baltimore, Maryland Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-6938-2
  • Scott, Bob (1978). Lacrosse: Technique and Tradition. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-2060-X
  • Vennum, Thomas Jr. "Lacrosse". Encyclopedia of North American Indians.
  • Cramer, James. Lacrosse Equipment. Information on Lacrosse Equipment for Men and Women.
  • Fink, Noah & Melissa Gaskill. Lacrosse for Parents, Lacrosse: A Guide for Parents and Players.
lacrosse in Bulgarian: Лакрос
lacrosse in Catalan: Lacrosse
lacrosse in Czech: Lakros
lacrosse in Danish: Lacrosse
lacrosse in German: Lacrosse
lacrosse in Estonian: Kahvpall
lacrosse in Spanish: Lacrosse
lacrosse in Esperanto: Kanada bastonludo
lacrosse in French: Crosse (sport)
lacrosse in Irish: Crosógaíocht
lacrosse in Scottish Gaelic: Lacrosse
lacrosse in Croatian: Lacrosse
lacrosse in Icelandic: Háfleikur
lacrosse in Italian: Lacrosse
lacrosse in Hebrew: לקרוס
lacrosse in Marathi: लॅक्रॉस
lacrosse in Dutch: Lacrosse
lacrosse in Japanese: ラクロス
lacrosse in Norwegian: Lacrosse
lacrosse in Polish: Lacrosse
lacrosse in Portuguese: Lacrosse
lacrosse in Romansh: Lacrosse
lacrosse in Russian: Лакросс
lacrosse in Simple English: Lacrosse
lacrosse in Serbian: Лакрос
lacrosse in Finnish: Haavipallo
lacrosse in Swedish: Lacrosse
lacrosse in Turkish: Lakros
lacrosse in Chinese: 袋棍球
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