Striking facts

25th November 2005 at 00:00
* Lacrosse is thought to date from the 14th century, when it was played by teams of hundreds of Native Americans on pitches of up to a mile in length. Games could last several days, and were often played as a way of settling disputes between tribes.

* The name lacrosse stems from French missionary Jean de Brebeuf, who encountered it being played by two tribes in the 17th century. He observed that the sticks used resembled the crosiers carried by French bishops, and nicknamed it "la crosse".

* Lacrosse featured in the Olympics of 1904 and 1908. Three teams took part, and Canada won both tournaments.

* The men's World Championships, organised by the International Lacrosse Foundation, first took place in 1967, and have been held every four years since 1974. The US has won every tournament, except in 1978, when they narrowly lost to Canada. Nineteen countries are set to compete in next year's World Championships.

* A team representing the Iroquois Nation, including members from the Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, Mohawk and Tuscarora tribes, has participated in every World Championships since 1990. The Iroquois finished fourth out of 11 teams in the 1998 tournament.

* The women's World Cup, run by the International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Association, has been held seven times. The US has emerged victorious on five occasions, with Australia grabbing the honours twice.

* Lacrosse is one of Canada's two national sports. The other is hockey.

* A men's field lacrosse team contains 10 players, while a women's team has 12. Pitches range from 60 yards by 110 yards (men's) to 70 yards by 120 yards (women's).

* Lacrosse goals are 6ft by 6ft, and the ball weighs 140-150 grams with a circumference of about 8 inches.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today