Upper Arlington Lacrosse

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Learn all about the sport and the history of Upper Arlington Lacrosse in Columbus, OH.


Lacrosse is one of the oldest team sports in North America.  There is evidence that a version of lacrosse originated in what is now Canada as early as the 17th century.

In 1636, French missionary Jean de Brebeuf described to the Europeans the Native American game of Baggataway, played by the Iroquois near the Hudson Bay. Each tribe had a variation on the original sticks: leather thongs bisected the walls of the rounded end and, because they looked like the Christian cross, the game was called "le jeu de la crosse." 

Traditional lacrosse games were sometimes major events that could last several days. As many as 100 to 1,000 men from opposing villages or tribes would participate. The games were played in open plains located between the two villages, and the goals could range from 500 yards to 6 miles apart.

Lacrosse was included as an official Olympic sport in 1904 and 1908 and later returned as a demonstration sport in 1928, 1932 and 1948. 

Lacrosse has national games for men's and women's teams at the high school and college levels. The World Games feature teams from the Iroquois Nation, Canada (lacrosse is their national game), USA, Britain, Wales, Scotland, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic and many others. Lacrosse has established leagues in the Pro-Lacrosse arena with Major League Lacrosse (Field) and National League Lacrosse (Box).


Upper Arlington High School

The UA High School Lacrosse Club began in 1972. UA teacher Lee Spitzer took over as UAHS coach from 1974 to 1986. UA placed first in the MSLA (Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Association) in 1975 and second in 1979, 1980 and 1981. Under Head Coach Bill Wolford (1987-1991), the 1989 and 1990 UA Varsity teams rose to second in the Ohio State Championships. Younger brother Ted Wolford was Head Coach for 25 years. His teams won 10 MSLA Championships and 16 State titles in 25 years.

A record-breaking 61-game winning streak ended in 1999, but the high quality of UA play has brought college recruiters to Ohio and the Midwest, increasing participation on the collegiate level. 

High School Lacrosse is growing nationally: Ohio boys' high school programs (144) compares to New York (408), Maryland (229), Virginia (169), Pennsylvania (219), Connecticut (96), Massachusetts (218), Texas (91), Michigan (128), Florida (202), Colorado (74), New Jersey (209) and California (261) and 33 more states with 20 or more teams each. UAHS players give back by volunteering as coaches in the spring and summer leagues to share the lax tradition with UA's youth players.

UA Middle Schools

In 1972, Jones Middle School principal Dave Shelby gave the first lacrosse gear to George Close's physical education classes and started the Jones Middle School Lax Club after school. In 1975, Hastings started their team. In the 1970's, the only other Middle School programs were Worthington, Western Reserve and Detroit Country Day. By 1990, Dan Hendrickson became the Hastings Middle School coach and Brett Diehl took over at Jones.