Participants learn about and practise using an implement to send and receive an object in a net game. This activity is inspired by lacrosse which has First Nation origins. One of the oldest North American sports, lacrosse evolved from games played by nations such as the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois nations) found around the Great Lakes.
- Intermediate (Ages 13-15)
- Senior (Ages 16-18)
Materials and Equipment
- 1 ball (e.g., soft, air-filled ball, wiffle ball) per two groups
- 1 molded, plastic lacrosse stick per participant
- 1 volleyball net per two groups
Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides safe traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Provide a safe distance between activities. Remind participants to check the positions of their group members before sending or passing the ball to ensure that they have an uninterrupted throw.
- Divide participants into small groups (e.g., four to six).
- Each group sets up on a side of a volleyball court. Two groups play together in a game.
- Each participant receives a lacrosse stick.
- One group begins the game by sending the ball into the opposing group’s court using a lacrosse stick.
- The receiving group works together to defend their space and try to prevent the ball from touching the ground by trapping the ball with their lacrosse stick.
- The receiving group makes three passes before sending the ball back over the net.
- When the ball touches the ground, the sending group receives a point. The group that receives the point rotates, and then serves the ball.
- Each group works together to try to be the first to get to 10 points.
- The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: Describe how you and your group can work together to keep the ball from touching the ground on your side of the net. How does communication help your team be successful in this game offensively and defensively? What strategy can you apply to send the ball into the opponent’s open space. Describe how you and your group members would position yourselves to cover the playing area on your side of the net.
To maximize the challenge and the fun, participants could identify their own ways to increase or decrease the challenge.
To decrease the challenge, participants could:
- Increase the number of participants in each group.
- Allow the ball to bounce once before trapping it.
- Decrease the court size.
- Use throwing and catching a ball before using lacrosse sticks.
To increase the challenge, participants could:
- Increase the court size.
- Decrease the number of participants in each group.
- Have more than one ball in play.
- Increase the number of consecutive passes required before scoring a point.
- Mark places on the floor using tape that participants stand on and pivot on when sending/receiving the ball.
Pause for Learning
Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies for effectively using an implement to send and receive an object. Note that this list is not exhaustive; further learning opportunities may arise during the task.
Movement Skills and Concepts
- Locomotion and relationship: knowing where to move to be successful at sending and receiving an object over a net while playing with other participants (e.g., communicating with teammates where you are moving on the court so that you can receive and/or support the passing of the ball)
- Tactical awareness: developing an understanding of the principles of play (e.g., knowing that passing the ball on your side of the court will make it more challenging for opponents to predict when and where the ball will land on their side of the court)
- Gathering and interpreting information as a group to arrive at a plan to be successful in the game (e.g., communicating with teammates to create strategies to help send the ball into the opponent’s open space)
Critical and Creative Thinking Skills
- Evaluating and reflecting on the different game plays to come up with strategies that will help the group be successful (e.g., recognizing your team’s strengths and creating strategies to capitalize on them)
First Nations Inspiration
Lacrosse is an important component of Haudenosaunee culture in terms of conflict resolution, spirituality, and community well-being.
The game was originally played by a large number of participants and was played to help solve disputes in times of conflict, as well as to keep participants in good physical condition. Lacrosse also prepared players for their role as peacekeepers in the community.
For all community members, the game is considered “good medicine” as people gather to play, watch, and enjoy themselves. Playing lacrosse can build personal qualities applicable to contemporary life such as showing respect, getting along with others, and trying your best.