Blame Canada

Lacrosse’s evolution from Native American pastime to Wall Street rite of passage

KEAN COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

1636

Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary, observes the first recorded lacrosse game, played by a Huron tribe in Canada.

1860

William George Beers, a Canadian teenager, codifies the rules of the game. Beers wrote, “This game is likely to become the National Game of Canada.”

1763

Ojibwa and Sauk Native Americans play a game at Britain’s Fort Michilimackinac in Michigan. It was a diversion: The tribes launched a successful attack on the fort.

1876

New York University becomes the first American university to field a lacrosse team.

1904

Lacrosse joins the Olympics for just two Games (’04 and ’08). The Canadians win gold both times.

1956

A new rule is instated after Jim Brown overpowers teams with his unheard-of speed — and ability to keep the ball close to his chest.

2001

Major League Lacrosse is founded. The average player’s salary is less than $18,000.

2002

Bunk Moreland, a detective on HBO’s The Wire, reveals that he played lacrosse in high school: “What, a brother can’t run with a stick?”

2011

Dominated by the companies Brine, STX, and Warrior, lacrosse equipment reaches $75 million in yearly U.S. sales.

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