(Syracuse University) The first sporting event every observed by Europeans in North America was a lacrosse game in 1637. Jesuit missionaries from France saw hundreds of native men playing a ball game with sticks that they thought resembled a bishop’s crosier, so they called the game “lacrosse.”
That makes lacrosse the oldest sport in America, and in the 21st century is has become the fastest growing. This rapid growth in participation, domestically and globally, presents the sport with a new set of opportunities and challenges.
America’s First Sport
Students in the History of Sport class at Syracuse University’s Falk College Department of Sport Management researched the history, current trends and future prospects of lacrosse during the 2012-13 academic year. This documentary film, America’s First Sport, is a product of their research, which was led by Professor of Practice Dennis Deninger.
Original Score by Bill DiCosimo
Director of Photography Michael Barletta
Coordinating Producer: John Craddock III
Written, produced and directed by Dennis Deninger
Vimeo direct link: America’s First Sport
About the FIL
The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) is the international governing body for men’s and women’s lacrosse. The FIL currently has 50 member nations and sanctions five World Championships (women’s and men’s field, women’s and men’s U19 field and men’s indoor.) The FIL is responsible for the governance and integrity of all forms of lacrosse and provides responsive and effective leadership to support the sports’ development throughout the world.