This site is about celebrating the game of lacrosse with the same joyous intent present when it was originally shared by the Indigenous People of North America centuries ago. It goes without saying that since that time much has changed with the game, including its relationship with Indigenous People today.
One could argue (and I will) that the changes to the game also reflect the Indigenous experience over the historical period as they dealt with disease, war, settler encroachment, and colonialism. However, the point is not to dwell on these aspects because, as time marches, there is still much change to come. It is therefore hoped that this effort will contribute to positive, healthy outcomes and provide insight into the whys and wherefores of lacrosse, where we came from and where we ought to go.
There is a method to my madness with the selection of the title Grassroots Game. A link from the past to the present in a physical and conceptual sense, from the tamped down playing fields of the distant past, to the freshly cut fields of the present. While a great deal of lacrosse is also played on artificial grass and turf or, in the case of box lacrosse, concrete and wood, the metaphor still works as the importance of the ‘field of play’ encompasses much more than mere space contained within boundary lines. This will be apparent when the game is analyzed through the lens of the Two-Row Wampum, a controversial guide to social relationships between the ancient and the new.
I have also selected the sun as a motif, keeping in mind that in ancient times a game of lacrosse could commence with dawn and end with dusk, with the sun as the ultimate time-keeper. This important cycle reminds us that each day renews whether in leisure or in contest, but it will renew and the hold of darkness and shadow is only temporary.
There are a few reasons as to my motivation for doing this now. At this writing, lacrosse is about to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the ‘modern game’ dating to 1867 when the forerunner of the Canadian Lacrosse Association, the National Lacrosse Association, adopted the ideas and rules of Montrealer Dr. William George Beers, to set the groundwork for the sport as we know it today. Secondly, and important to the perspective of the 150th anniversary, I will relate a set of circumstances I found myself in recently that illustrate the current state of the game as it applies to the people that administer it; a localized account of events for sure, but important enough to be relevant for all people involved in all sports. Finally, a platform to publish my book: The Medicine Game – the Ancient Origins of Lacrosse, something I have been working on over the past decade. The book provides my insight into the nature of lacrosse as it has passed through time, and how key aspects of that nature are still vibrantly present if you look.
I hope you enjoy this site and, in some small way, allow you to better appreciate what I consider the most wonderful sport in the world.