Lacrosse may be old, but it's popular for a reason. Native American tribes were crossing netted sticks long before the first colonists arrived, and despite centuries of play, lacrosse is one of the fastest growing team sports in the world, with hundreds of thousands of players in the United States alone.
Originally created by the Iroquois tribe, lacrosse was used to vent aggression and settle territorial disputes. Although no one really knows how old the game is, it remained a Native American-exclusive sport until the mid-19th century, when it was picked up by Canadian settlers. Soon after, the game spread to Europe and throughout the rest of North America.
Lacrosse is like a combination of hockey and basketball and is played with a netted racquet (called a lacrosse stick) and a rubber ball. Players carry and pass the ball to each other to advance it down the field. However, they can only use the lacrosse stick to do this -- team members are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands. The object of the game is to throw the ball into the opponent's goal to score a point. Much like hockey, each team is equipped with a goalie to prevent the opposing team from scoring. Lacrosse games typically consist of four 15-minute quarters, and at the end of the game, the team with the most points wins.
As the sport gains popularity, lacrosse clubs are becoming much more prevalent. US Lacrosse, the national organization for men and women's lacrosse, boasts 63 chapters and nearly 350,000 club players nationwide.
What is a lacrosse club, you ask? Well, sports-related clubs can refer to anything from large organizations that sponsor multiple leagues or can be as small as a group of sports fans organizing to form a single team, which is what we're discussing in this article.
Want to start your own lacrosse club? Click to the next page to find out how.
Tips for Starting a Lacrosse Club
The first step to starting a lacrosse club is to recruit players. If your goal is to form a competitive team, make sure to enlist experienced and well-trained members. If you've played in a team in the past, reach out to former teammates who might be interested. Of course, if competition is not the name of your game, there are no rules against playing for fun. Gather some friends together who just want to have a good time and get started!
No matter what your past experience is with lacrosse, recruiting players using the Internet is a useful idea. Post your club's information on message boards or even create your own Web site. The club can be all male, all female or co-ed, but keep in mind that you'll generally need to keep 10 to 12 of your players on the field at all times (10 for men's teams, 12 for women's and co-ed team requirements vary by league). Therefore, 20 to 24 players should be on your roster.
Next, you need to find and join a lacrosse league or organization. This will give your club a game schedule, formal rules and other teams to play against. Again, using the Internet is a great resource since you can research lacrosse-related happenings in your area. Be sure to visit the Web site of your county's parks and recreation department, as there is often organization-specific information posted there. You can also utilize social media by searching on sites like Facebook. Leagues are broken up by age, skill level and sex, so look for one that fits your club's demographics. Be sure to also review the league's schedule to ensure that it will accommodate you and your teammates.
Both local and national leagues usually require a membership fee, so don't be blindsided by this additional cost. General fees range between $25 and $300 per year, depending on the intensity and requirements of the association. This fee may or may not include charges for uniforms and equipment. If you're required to buy your own gear, general equipment includes a lacrosse stick, mouth guard, cleats, shoulder and elbow pads and a helmet. You can purchase these at your local sports retailer or at a lacrosse specialty store.
Of course, the goal of any lacrosse club is to bring players together to have fun and enjoy this remarkable sport. So on that note, have a great game!
- Dummies. "Understanding How Lacrosse is Played." 2011. (Aug. 3, 2011) http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/understanding-how-lacrosse-is-played.html
- Encyclopedia Britannica. "Iroquois Confederacy." 2011. (Aug. 3, 2011) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/294660/Iroquois-Confederacy
- US Lacrosse. "Homepage." 2009. (July 26, 2011) http://www.uslacrosse.org
- Vennum Jr., Thomas. "Museum and Hall of Fame: History." US Lacrosse. Dec. 4, 1999. (July 26, 2011) http://www.uslacrosse.org/museum/history.phtml