Baaga'adowe (Lacrosse)

Posted by martin.parnell |

Next Event:

Lacrosse Quest 24


  • Start: 7.00pm Friday May 4th 2012

  • Finish: 7.00pm Saturday May 5th 2012

  • Location:South Fish Creek Recreational Centre, Calgary

  • RTP Fundraising Target: $50,000

  • RTP Fundraising Actual: $695

Last Saturday night Sue and I went to our first ever Lacrosse game , the Calgary Roughnecks vs the Edmonton Rush. There we met Scott Cable. Scott was on the Netball Quest 61 team that, in September 2011, set a new Guinness World Record for the longest marathon of netball played. I had chatted with Scott during the 61 hours we had been on the court and he had told me about his love of Lacrosse.

Scott and his brother Shawn run a company "Hotbox Lacrosse" which sells lacrosse apparel and he said that they would be interested in working with me on a Guinness World Record for the longest indoor Lacrosse Game. In the fall of 2011, I contacted Guinness in London and found out that there had never been an indoor record set and that we would have to play a minimum of 24 hours to set the record. I had told Scott that I had never played Lacrosse but I would be willing to learn.

But before I play a game I want to know the history of the sport. Scott has a video on his website and this is what I learned.

Modern day lacrosse descends from and resembles games played by various native America communities. These include games called dehuntshigwa'es in Onondaga ("men hit a rounded object"), da-nah-wah'uwsdi in Eastern Cherokee ("little war"), Tewaarathon in Mohawk language ("little brother of war"), baaga`adowe in Ojibwe ("bump hips") and kabocha-toli in Choctow language ("stick-ball").

Lacrosse is one of the oldest team sports in North America. There is evidence that a version of lacrosse originated in Mesoamerica or Canada early as the 17th century. Native American lacrosse was played throughout modern Canada but was most popular around the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic seaboard and American South.

Traditional lacrosse games were sometimes major events that could last several days. As many as 100 to 1,000 men from opposing villages or tribes would participate. The games were played in open plains located between the two villages, and the goals could range from 500 yards (460 m) to several miles apart.

Rules for these games were decided on the day before. Generally there was no out-of-bounds, and the ball could not be touched with the hands. The goals would be selected as large rocks or trees; in later years wooden posts were used. Playing time was often from sun up until sun down.

The game began with the ball being tossed into the air and the two sides rushing to catch it. Because of the large number of players involved, these games generally tended to involve a huge mob of players swarming the ball and slowly moving across the field. Passing the ball was thought of as a trick, and it was seen as cowardly to dodge an opponent.

The medicine men acted as coaches, and the women of the tribe were usually limited to serving refreshments to the players (There was also a women's version of lacrosse called amtahcha, which used much shorter sticks with larger heads).

Lacrosse traditionally had many different purposes. Some games were played to settle inter-tribal disputes. This function was essential to keeping the Six Nations of the Iroquois together. Lacrosse was also played to toughen young warriors for combat, for recreation, as part of festivals, and for the bets involved. Finally, lacrosse was played for religious reasons: "for the pleasure of the Creator" and to collectively pray for something.

In future Blogs I'll talk about Lacrosse Quest 24 and my up coming, week long, "Lacrosse Boot Camp" at Springbank School. Oh, Calgary beat Edmonton 12 -8.

Quote of the Day

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

Wayne Gretzky

Great action at the Calgary Roughnecks vs Edmonton Rush game on Saturday

Baaga adowe (Lacrosse)


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