Lacrosse was first played by Native American tribes in different regions of North America, the Great Lakes area, the Great Plains and the Mid-Atlantic. There were many different versions of the game, rules, numbers of players, and sizes of the fields that would change depending on the tribe.
For many Native American tribes, lacrosse wasn’t just a sport, but rather part of their culture and their religion. Since the game was very rough and people could be injured and even die while playing, the Iroquois used lacrosse as a way of training young men to be warriors, and the game was used to settle disputes without actually going to war.
Lacrosse also had religious significance among some tribes. It was called the Creator’s Game, and it helped the players put their lives into perspective and teach lessons, some of the most valuable lessons being that everyone has struggles and opponents and the key to survival is friends and allies.
Lacrosse is a sport that has a beautiful history and carries a meaning that many of us will never be able to understand. To Native Americans, lacrosse was a sport, a teaching tool, a religion, and a way to connect their cultures with other tribes. To many the history and meaning behind lacrosse has been lost, and it has become just another sport played for recreation and friendly competition.
During the formation of the Great Plains Box Lacrosse League, we wanted to make sure that the rich culture and history was not lost. As the GPBLL grows, you can be sure more educational information will become available so everyone can learn to respect the game and it’s founders.