Louisiana State University Lacrosse Club

Team History

The Men's Lacrosse team has been a club sport since 1973. Two students, Edward Kardas and Tommy Bennet decided to start the club and looked to Jay McCreary, then sports club director, for answers to many of their questions. The first league the team played in was the SWLA, consisting of mostly Texas-based teams, which required a great deal of travel. Tulane was also an early rival, and one that stands to this day. Highlights of the early years included games against Texas A&M at Kyle Field and Tulane in the old Sugar Bowl stadium.

Though the club has seen it's fair share of peaks and valley's when it comes to popularity, it has maintained a competitive schedule throughout the years. More and more lacrosse players are coming to LSU and more and more students are beginning to take notice of the team. In 2003, LSU joined the United States Lacrosse Intercollegiate Association, a national league with over 140 members. Within this league LSU is a member of the Lone Star Alliance, made up of all schools within Texas. This union allows LSU to renew many old rivalries and hopefully play in both a league wide and national tournament at the end of the season.

LSU Lacrosse circa 1978
LSU Lacrosse circa 1978

Louisiana State University Lacrosse Club

History of the Sport of Lacrosse

Among Native Americans, there were many versions of what we now call lacrosse. Players in some tribes used two sticks, one in each hand. Women and men sometimes competed together on the same teams, but women had their own form of the sport in some areas.

The Cherokees called the sport "the little brother of war" because it was considered excellent military training. A team consisted of hundreds, even thousands, of players, often an entire village or tribe, the goals were often miles apart, and a game might last as long as three days. Since most players couldn't get anywhere near the ball, they concentrated on using the stick to injure opponents.

The Six Tribes of the Iroquois, in what is now southern Ontario and upstate New York, called their version of the game "baggataway" or "tewaraathon". It was much more organized than in most areas of the country. There were 12 to 15 players per team, and the goals were about 120 feet apart.

According to most accounts, the first Europeans to see baggataway being played were French explorers who thought the stick resembled a bishop's crozier--la crosse, in French--so the sport was given a new name. However, the French played a form of field hockey that was called jeu de la crosse, and that's a much more likely origin of the name.

Early in the 19th century, Europeans in Canada began playing the game. Montreal's Olympic Club organized a team in 1844, specifically to play a match against a Native American team. Similar games were played in 1848 and 1851.

However, the first step toward turning lacrosse into a genuinely organized, modern sport came when the Montreal Lacrosse Club, founded in 1856, developed the first written rules.

George Beers of the MLC rewrote the rules thoroughly in 1867. His rules called for 12 players per team, and named the positions: Goal, point, cover point, first defense, second defense, third defense, centre, third attack, second attack, first attack, out home, and in home.

Beers, who is now known as " the father of lacrosse," also replaced the hair-stuffed deerskin ball with a hard rubber ball and designed a stick that was better suited to catching the ball and throwing it accurately.

Canada's National Lacrosse Association, which was also established in 1867, quickly adopted the new rules. The same year, a team made up of Caughnawaga Indians went to England and played a match for Queen Victoria. The sport became quite popular in Bristol, Cheshire, Lancashire, London, Manchester, and Yorkshire, and the English Lacrosse Union was organized in 1892.
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