Lacrosse at the Olympic Games – when did that happen?

Some of you guys may do not know it, but lacrosse has been a part of the Olympic Games for several years. It was a match discipline in some years and it was a demonstration sport in the other years. We guess that you are interested what happened there and especially where and when this took place, we will offer you with all information that we gathered right now. If you would like to have more information about lacrosse and the history behind it, we have an article on our blog, too.

Lacrosse at the Olympic GamesLacrosse at the Olympic Games in 1904

The Summer Olympics of 1904 took place on the 1st of July to the 23th of November 1904 in St Louis, Missouri (USA). More in-depth information can be found here.

General Information

The Games were held in honor of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. The colony of Louisiana was sold to the United States in 1803 and the exhibition was the celebration of the centennial anniversary with a delay of one year. The long arrival times and long distances were the reason why the American teams were among themselves in most of the disciplines. In total 12 teams with 651 athletes (included 6 women) competed against each other. The Games were started by David Francis.  The Athlete’s Oath as well as the Olympic torch were not part of the Games, as they were introduced in 1936. The Francis Field served as the stadium for the Summer Olympics in 1904.


As we have already mentioned a total of 651 athletes took part in the Olympic Games in 1904. 8 of them were from South Africa. All 56 participants, who came from Canada and the 5 athletes from Cuba, were all men. Believe it or not, the United States of America came with 543. There were also some European sportsmen participating in the Games. The German Reich sent 22 athletes. France, Austria and Switzerland each only had one competitor. Albert Corey competed for France, Otto Wahle for Austria and Adolf Spinnler for Switzerland. 14 participants were sent by Greece, 6 by Great Britain, Hungary sent 4, Australia two and then there were 8 athletes that formed a mixed team.

all disciplines at the Olympic Games in 1904

Quelle: Shutterstock


Of course, the individual disciplines like swimming or athletics are divided into additional competitions like Obstacle Swim for example, only to mention some generic terms so we won’t get off the subject. The Olympic disciplines in the year 1904 were: athletics, tug war, football, golf, lacrosse, rowing, wrestling, fencing, basketball, archery, boxing, weightlifting, cycling, roque, swimming, tennis, gymnastics and high diving.


The USA won the most medals with 79 gold medals, 82 silver medals and 76 bronze medals. The German Reich got second place with only 4 golden, 5 silver and 7 bronze medals. Then came Cuba with 4 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 3 bronze medals. The Canadian athletes got their home country the fourth place by winning 4 golden, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal. Hungary in fifth place won 2 gold medals, 1 silver medal and 1 bronze medal.

Lacrosse as an Olympic discipline

At lacrosse at the Olympic Games in 1904 there were 3 teams participating. 2 teams came from Canada and one team from the USA. There would have been a fourth team from Brooklyn but they did not show up. The matches were held between the 2nd of July and the 7th of July. The Canadian Winnipeg Shamrocks won the discpline lacrosse at the Olympic Games, the St. Louis Amature Athletic Association finished second and the Mohawk Indians of Canada got the third place. Therefore Canada won one gold and one bronze medal and the USA won one silver medal.

Lacrosse at the Olympic Games in 1908

The Summer Olympics in the year 1908 took place in London and were held from the 27th of April to the 31st of October. You will find more detailed information here.

General remarks

Simultaneously to the Olympic Games there was the Franco-British Exhibition. This was a fair to conclude the Entente cordiale, which is an agreement between France and the United Kingdom. The Olympic Games in 1908 attracted way more attention that the Games in 1900 in Paris or 1904 in St. Louis. Also the partition of the Games was different. At the Games in spring, which took place from late April to mid-July matches in four different ball sports were held. In July two-thirds of all disciplines were held and the competitions in the aquatic sports were contested outside between late July and late August. In late October the Winter Games followed. 23 teams with 2008 athletes took part in the Games, 37 of the athletes were women. There were 109 competitions in 22 sports and the Games were opened by King Eduard VII. The site of these Olympic Games was the White City Stadium.

Participants of 1908 - lacrosse at the Olympic Games

Quelle: Shutterstock


There were a total of 2008 participants at the Olympic Summer Games in 1908. 14 athletes came from Africa. Argentina sent one athlete named Horatio Torromé. Canada took part in the Games with 88 competitors and the United States with 122. In this year or the Games most sports men came from Europe. 77 were from Belgium, 20 from Greece, 7 from Austria and 19 from Bohemia. Great Britain sent the most athletes namely 737. 6 participants came from Russia and 77 from Denmark. Iceland only sent Jóhannes Jósepsson whereas Sweden sent 172 athletes. 81 competitors were from the German Reich and 67 came from Italy. Julius Wagner was the only one sent by Switzerland. 65 were Finish and 118 were Dutch. 66 were from Hungary, 215 from France, 68 from Norway and Australia and New Zealand sent 29.


The disciplines at these Olympics were: archery, boxing, ice figure skating, fencing, football, hockey, Jeu de Paume, lacrosse, athletics, motor boat racing, polo, rackets, cycling, wrestling, rowing, rugby, shooting, swimming, sailing, tug war, tennis, gymnastics, water polo, high diving.


The most medals were won by Great Britain with 56 golden, 51 silver and 39 bronze medals. The United States finished second by winning 23 gold medals, 12 silver medals as well as 12 bronze medals. Sweden in third place won 8 gold, 6 silver and 11 bronze medals. Then came France with 5 gold medals, 5 silver medals and 9 bronze medals. The German Reich in fifth place got 3 golden, 5 silver and 5 bronze medals.

Lacrosse as an Olympic discipline

Only one match took place because a team from South Africa withdrew their participation. This match was held right before the final of the football tournament. The Canadian team won 14:10 against the British team. Because the Canadian rules for lacrosse are different from the British there was a problem and the rules had to be adjusted. This was the last time lacrosse was an Olympic discipline.

Lacrosse at the Olympic Games in 1928, 1932 and 1948

At the Olympic Games in 1928 in Amsterdam, 1932 in Los Angeles and 1948 in London lacrosse was not an Olympic discipline but a demonstration sport.

lacrosse at the Olympic Games 1928

Quelle: Shutterstock


In 1928 the Games were held in Amsterdam. They took place between the 17th of May and the 12th of August. 46 teams with 2883 athletes participated, 277 of these athletes were women. Lacrosse was shown as a demonstration sport, a sport, which is included temporarily to check the feedback of the audience.


The Olympic Summer Games of 1932 were held in Los Angeles. They took place between the 30th of July and the 12th of August. This time the high traveling costs, that the participants had to pay were criticized. There were 37 teams with a total of 1332 athletes, 126 of them were women. The Stadium was the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Lacrosse was a demonstration sport at these Games as well.


In the year 1948 the Olympic Games were contested in London. They were held between the 29th of July and the 14th of August. Germany and Japan were not invited to these Olympic Games because of what they did in World War II and the USSR canceled its participation. 59 teams took part in the Games with 4104 athletes, 390 of the athletes were women. This was the last time lacrosse was as a demonstration sport at the Olympic Games.

We hope that we could give you all the information about lacrosse at the Olympic Games, that you were looking for or that you did not even know about. We think it is really interesting, which sports get the chance to be seen.

Sticks up!

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