The National Game

Long before hockey was played in Canada, the First Peoples of Canada played lacrosse. For them, lacrosse was both a religious ritual and a significant community activity. It prepared young men for war and, in some cases, a game of lacrosse between two tribes could resolve disputes or strengthen alliances.

Illustration of a Game of Lacrosse

Canadian Illustrated News,
September 6, 1879, page 153
"A Game of Lacrosse".

Page from book describing the Laws of Lacrosse

Lacrosse. The National Game of Canada
by W.G. Beers, 1869
p. 251-256, Laws of Lacrosse
Baldwin Room 796.347 B24

In the 19th century, lacrosse was adopted by the Europeans in Canada. It became an organized sport, where rules were established and clubs formed to embrace the game. Its popularity extended to communities in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario.

  >> Click on the numbers below to view 6 pages describing the rules of lacrosse.

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Source: Special Collections, Toronto Public Library.