1891 Sudbury Lacrosse team.  Photo courtesy of "Homegrown Heroes: A Sports History of Sudbury".Lacrosse, Canada's national sport, was the first game played in Sudbury that involved competition with other towns in the area.  In the 1880's, the first lacrosse team in Sudbury was formed.  Players were required to set up their own teams, purchase the necessary equipment, and organize a schedule of games with other towns.  Most early lacrosse games took place on holidays and were considered a highlight of the day.

In 1891, the Sudbury Lacrosse Club was formed and challenges were issued to other northern communities.  The following year, James Orr and Alex Beath were heading up the club.  In need of a playing field, the Sudbury Lacrosse Club received a land grant from the C.P.R. allowing them to clear a piece of land for use as a lacrosse field.  Citizens of Sudbury pitched in to get the field ready, turning the land clearing into a social event.  The community even went so far as to collect funds to provide their team with uniforms.

Conflicts between neighbouring towns were quite common as each small community was attempting to secure new business investments and government interest in their area.  These conflicts would often translate to the lacrosse field and rivalries were dealt with through the sport.  Winning a lacrosse match in Northern Ontario was not just a matter of a game well played, it was a victory for the town's honour.

Despite the rivalries, all players were required to show decorum on the playing field for the sake of the women and children spectators.  Swearing and violence was prohibited and any such action resulted in the offending player being asked to leave the field.


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