2011 Lax-4-Life Campers and Staff
From Thomas Vennum Jr. - Author of American Indian Lacrosse: Little Brother of War
Lacrosse was one of many indigenous stickball games played by American Indians at the time of European contact. Almost exclusively a male team sport, it is distinguished from the others, such as field hockey and shinny, by the use of a netted racquet to pick up the ball, throw, catch and shoot it into a goal to score a point. The cardinal rule in all varieties of lacrosse was that the ball, with few exceptions, must not be touched with the hands.
Based on the type of goal and stick-handling techniques, it is possible to discern three basic forms of lacrosse - Southeastern, Great Lakes, and Northeastern. Among Southeastern tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole and Yuchi), a double-stick version is still practiced. A two-and-a half foot stick is held in each hand and the soft, small deerskin ball is retrieved and cupped between them. Great Lakes tribes (Ojibwe, Menominee, Potawatomi, Sauk, Fox, Miami, Winnebago and Santee Dakota) used a single three-foot stick. This type of stick terminates in a round, closed pocket about three to four inches in diameter, scarcely larger than the ball, which was usually made of wood, charred and scraped to shape. The Northeastern stick, used among Iroquoian and New England tribes, is the progenitor of all present-day sticks, both in box as well as field lacrosse.
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