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America's First Sport Documentary


The first sporting event ever 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 it is also the fastest growing. This rapid growth in participation, domestically and globally, presents the sport with a new set of opportunities and several challenges.

Students in The History of Sport class at Syracuse University's Department of Sport Management researched the history, current status and future prospects of lacrosse during the 2012-13 academic year. This film is a product of their research which was led by Sport Management faculty.

America's First Sport was made possible by funding from members of the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics Advisory Board and other generous donors.
We thank you, and enjoy America's First Sport.