Reading Lacrosse’s Terms and Conditions
“The Creator’s Game,” natively known as Baggataway or stickball, is now known as lacrosse. Originally designed by the natives across North America it was slowly adapted throughout the centuries leading to the lacrosse we know today. “From the seventeenth century, when the game was played exclusively by Native Americans, to the early decades of the twentieth century… While the game was first developed by Native Americans well before contact with Europeans, lacrosse became standardized by a group of Canadians led by George Beers in 1867, and has continued to develop into the twenty-first century,” Jeff Carey states in his thesis New directions of play: Native american origins of modern lacrosse.
Lacrosse in basic terms is a team sport, the objective is to get the ball into the opponents goal using a stick with a triangular net piece known as a crosse. Each team has ten to twelve players on the field at a time, depending on men’s or women’s lacrosse. Regardless of gender both men’s and women’s have a defense, mid field, attack and a goalie on field at all times.
Women’s and men’s lacrosse have one leading difference that shapes how each game is played, contact. Similar to popular sports like football, men’s lacrosse can be more physical with their opponents than in women’s. While men’s lacrosse is able to hit and body check with some restrictions, women’s lacrosse highly restricts physical contact between players. Women are allowed to have minimal contact while defending and chasing the ball, there are rules against getting too close to the face and body. Despite these differences the game’s objective and tactics remain fairly similar, yet men’s lacrosse is more mainstream than women’s, which generates the idea that it is the superior twin.
The most popular sports today have some form of contact, football and hockey being at the top while sports like soccer, basketball and baseball lean towards the bottom. Despite this, lacrosse is still a very popular sport that is streamed for the public, yet men’s is regarded higher and viewed more. Women’s sports in general suffer from mainstream media not displaying or advertising enough to encourage viewers.
One of the reasons men’s lacrosse does better is due to “the level of contact and physicality determines the amount of fans that come… the more contact there is, the more spectators we will draw to our games,” as opinionated by Ithaca’s former attackman Connor Hulme in Cal Dymowski’s Lacrosse has different rules for men and women. Men’s lacrosse is perceived better due to the lack of regulation that allows for the game to flow better than women’s.
In Jane Claydon’s Origin & History, a girl writing for the student magazine at St. Leonards School, in St Andrews, Scotland reported that “after our crosses having undergone a severe inspection i.e. our referee holding them up one by one and squinting with one eye to see if that which ought to be plane surface was not a curved one.” Even before the game starts, the equipment worn by the players are inspected to prevent any harm or cheating from occurring. Girl’s have to go through an inspection process before they are even allowed to play, while men are allowed to start once both teams are ready. While this may indicate that the rules in women’s lacrosse should be revised in order to allow for better flowing gameplay, it can show how much harder the girls have to work compared to men. Women have to jump more hurdles in order to play, it in turn forces the players to come up with more creative plays in order to score.
Carey, J. (2012). New directions of play: Native American origins of modern lacrosse (Order No. 1518272). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1039261901). Retrieved from http://ezproxy.rowan.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.proquest.com%2Fdissertations-theses%2Fnew-directions-play-native-american-origins%2Fdocview%2F1039261901%2Fse-2%3Faccountid%3D13605
Dymowski, C. (2016, April 20). Lacrosse has different rules for men and women. The Ithacan. https://theithacan.org/sports/lacrosse-has-different-rules-for-men-and-women/
Claydon, J. (Ed.). (2021). Origin of Men’s Lacrosse. World Lacrosse. https://worldlacrosse.sport/about-world-lacrosse/origin-history/