Lacrosse: America’s Fastest Growing Sport

NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB are great team sports with tens of thousands of fans, but neither of these is the fastest growing team sport in America. Much to the surprise of many sports fans, the fastest growing team sport is lacrosse, with a growth rate of over 19% among high school girls and 15% among high school boys over the 5 year period from 2008 to 2013. There is an increase of lacrosse teams at the collegiate level too with the NCAA reporting that 64 colleges started new lacrosse teams in the 2012-2013 school year.

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Lacrosse is believed to have been played as early as 1100 A.D. by Native Americans. By the 17th century, a similar game was documented by Jesuit priests in what is now Canada. The game has been modified over the years, with early accounts including a description of a 3 inch wooden ball and a 5 foot staff with a net on the end. Early lacrosse games had spiritual meaning, with players assuming warrior roles whose goal was to bring glory to themselves and the tribes they represented.

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The first lacrosse club was founded in 1855 in Montreal by a Canadian dentist, William George Beers. Beers changed the rules so that there were only 12 players and games didn’t last as long. Lacrosse caught on and by the 1900’s, high schools and colleges had lacrosse teams. The game remained at an amateur level until 2001, when the Major League Lacrosse was formed in the USA.

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Today there are four different types of lacrosse, including men’s field lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, box lacrosse, and intercrosse. Positions include midfield, defense, attack, and goalie.

Playing lacrosse requires a small rubber ball and a long handled stick known as a “lacrosse stick” or just “crosse” for short. Offensive players try to get the ball into their opponents goal using the mesh netting at the end of the stick. Defensive players try to keep the offensive players from getting the ball into the goal through positioning and stick checking.

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One outstanding defensive player in lacrosse is Matt Landis who has played two seasons for Notre Dame. Landis was ranked #66 by “Inside Lacrosse Power 100 Freshmen”. He played 4 years of varsity lacrosse and was ranked as the 18th best defensemen in 2012. In addition he was named All American and first team all state during his last year of high school at Pelham Memorial.

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Matt Landis: Lacrosse Player

As a freshman Matt Landis played in 15 games, picking up 23 ground balls and earning a monogram. As a sophomore, he played in 18 games, 17 of which he started in. He picked up 14 ground balls and was able to earn his second monogram. Landis, a 6 foot 2 inch, 195 pound junior, looks to be a starter for Notre Dame his third season. In addition, to lacrosse, he has excelled in football, academics, and community service.

Lacrosse is America’s growing sport. It will change and evolve as it gains more and more fans.

Interceptions Doom Crimson Tide

Alabama had every chance to beat Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, but they had to deal with three interceptions from Blake Sims. If you ask Bruce Levenson Sims had some good ideas, but he made mistakes that one would expect for an inexperienced quarterback. The Crimson Tide have ridden the waves of experienced passers in Greg McElroy and AJ McCarron. Those two gentlemen rarely made these kinds of mistakes, but Bama did not have the luxury of going with experience this season.

However, this could signal a change for the Tide going forward. They cannot have a quarterback competition going into the season, and they cannot afford to go with someone who will not be around to learn from his mistakes. Sims is someone who could have been great for Alabama, but he simply sunk the Tide in their bid to beat the Buckeyes.

Nick Saban is surely looking for answers to this problem going forward, but we all know that he is going to have to go back to what worked the first time around. Use the same young quarterback for three to four years and let him grow up. The Tide win titles that way, and they fail when they try to do it any other way.

UFC Fires Criminal

Fighters that commit criminal acts are a disgrace to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. A true martial artist like Dr Rod Rohrich is more than just a brawling tough guy. The sport of Mixed Martial Arts should be respected. At the highest levels of the sport, MMA is a beautiful art. A true Mixed Martial Artist spends countless hours practicing their technique. So much hard work and dedication is required to succeed in the UFC.

When an MMA fighter does something wrong outside of the ring, it hurts the entire MMA community. Doug Sparks, a former UFC fighter has been arrested for aggravated assault. Sparks is nothing more than a criminal. Doug Sparks assaulted a woman who was much smaller than himself. He is truly a degenerate criminal. The UFC immediately fired Doug Sparks upon hearing the news.

Doug Sparks should be looked at as an individual. It would not be fair to disgrace the rest of the fighters by associating them with Doug Sparks. A true Martial Artist respects all humans and nature. A true Martial Artist helps those that he can.

What Doug Sparks has done is unforgivable. The UFC deserves an accommodation for removing him from their roster. If you want to learn more about Doug Sparks and the UFC, visit Yahoo! Sports.