Why Play Lacrosse?

At North Shore Minor Lacrosse, you’ll find many players and parents who are fanatical about the sport. Here are a few reasons why…


Lacrosse is fun to play and exciting to watch. It is characterized by intense action, strategy, finesse and power. It is a game with long, looping passes and short bullet-like shots: to catch a pass over the shoulder while running at full stride, to hit the top corner of the net while in full flight, or to stop a shot aimed low through a maze of players requires a range of skills unsurpassed in any other sport. The wide open-nature of the game makes it a great spectator sport.


Lacrosse is a game of speed and stamina – there’s no standing around in lacrosse. With its back-and-forth nature, all lacrosse players, even goalies, are kept active.

Unfortunately, Canadian kids are lacking when it comes to getting enough physical activity.

Lacrosse is a great way to build cardiovascular endurance, coordination, agility, and strength. Kids who are tired out from running around sleep better, and those who have slept well have more energy to run around, be creative, and solve problems.

See Top 10 Health Benefits of Lacrosse for even more information about the health benefits of playing lacrosse. For more information about the importance of fitness for Canadian youth, see Benefits & Guidelines: Children & Youth Age 5-17 from Participaction as well as The 2016 Participaction Report Card On Physical Activity For Children And Youth.

Player Safety

Lacrosse is a contact sport, and with all contact sports, parents and players are concerned about injuries. The North Shore Minor Lacrosse Association stresses fun, fair play and a safe playing environment.

You may be surprised to find out that according to the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP), Canadian youth lacrosse players have fewer reported injuries than ice hockey, soccer, football, and rugby players.

Minor lacrosse is quite different than the pro games you may have seen on TV. Many of the infractions that are accepted in the professional league would result in a penalty and/or suspension in ANY minor lacrosse association.

Based on 2005 enrolment data from Statistics Canada (the latest stats we could find) combined with 2007-2010 injury reporting data from CHIRPP, we estimate that lacrosse players have around 2/3 the injuries of soccer players, 1/2 the injuries of hockey players, and about 1/10 the injuries of football and rugby players, based on a “per capita” comparison – with numbers adjusted for the number of players enrolled in lacrosse vs other sports.

For more detailed information about the number and nature of reported injuries within lacrosse and other sports, see the attached report from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP).


Team sports are an excellent way learn how to come together and work towards a common goal. The players work, sweat, plan and play together. Overcoming obstacles within a team is also a good way to develop lifelong friendships.

Like other team sports, lacrosse offers opportunities to develop leadership skills, social interaction skills, a sense of belonging and camaraderie, as well as physical skills, friendships, and respect for teammates, coaches, and officials.

Cross Training

The promotion of speed, stamina, sportsmanship and team play in lacrosse provides excellent cross-training for other sports like hockey, basketball and soccer.

If hockey is your main sport, The NSMLA invites hockey players from North Vancouver Minor Hockey (NVMHA), West Vancouver Minor Hockey (WVMHA), Hollyburn Country Club (HCC) and the North Shore Winter Club (NSWC) to come play the fastest game on two feet!  Read more about the benefits of lacrosse for hockey players.

Lacrosse offers specific benefits to basketball players as well, as noted here.

Tradition & History

Crowds watching New Westminster versus Montreal for the 1910 Minto Cup

Lacrosse has a long history on the North Shore, in BC, in Canada, and its origins date back to long before Canada adopted it as its national sport.

Lacrosse was played by First Nations peoples before the arrival of European colonists. See here to learn more about The Creator’s Game and the origins of lacrosse.

Within Canada, Lacrosse has officially been recognized as our National Summer Sport since 1994, but its popularity dates back to before confederation. Written Canadian references to lacrosse appear as early as 1637, and the National Lacrosse Association of Canada was formed in 1867. Watch and hear many interesting stories about the history of lacrosse in Canada can be seen here, at the CBC lacrosse archives.

In BC, the BC Amateur Lacrosse Association was formed in 1890 – over 125 years ago. Read about the early days of lacrosse in BC at the Old School Lacrosse website.

Here on the North Shore, the roots of lacrosse are strong. In his book Lacrosse 100: One Hundred Years of Lacrosse in BC author Cleve Dheensaw says that “in many ways, in the 1930s,” the North Shore Indians “represented all that was best about the game – the links to the Indian past of the sport and the growing promise of its future as represented in their exciting play in the box.”

Dheensaw goes on to say “What people remember most about the Indians was their incredible stick skills, honed in that era by literally growing up with a stick in their hands. They could fake like they were going to shoot, and then give you a spin… and their passes had the velocity of shots, but they could handle it.”

Scholarship Opportunities

Field lacrosse is an NCAA sport, and many top colleges are attracted to the skills that Canadian players develop by playing box lacrosse. Read about the Canadian impact on field lacrosse here: Canadians Make an Impact on American College Lacrosse Teams or search online for “lacrosse scholarships” to find out more.

Some other considerations for parents…
Here are a few extra perks, from a parent’s point of view:

  • Our box game is played where it’s warm (unlike hockey), dry (unlike soccer), and never gets rained out (unlike baseball).
  • The box season is short, intense, is a great complement to winter sports, and does not intrude on family vacation time.
  • Lacrosse is very competitively priced compared to other sports