Violence In Lacrosse…What Is Going On?

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve heard about a few different instances of violence in our great sport that really is starting to concern me and I believe it should concern us all.

Last week in Peterborough in a Major Series game between the Lakers and St. Regis an all out bench clearing brawl erupted. I won’t get into the cause or the details as I was not there and do not know firsthand what happened. Regardless, the fact is that the game was called at or near the end of the 2nd period, sending fans home without seeing the full 60 minutes. Also, players from both teams have subsequently been suspended by the OLA to varying degrees for their involvement.

This past week I read about a Junior “A” game in Orangeville between Orillia and the Northmen. In this contest (again from accounts I’ve read as I was not there), a brawl broke out, that led to players entering the stands and battling with some of the patrons attending the game.

Just today I heard of a Minor Lacrosse Game in which a player was hurt (again heard this from someone). That players’ mother and sister were at the glass ensuring that their son / brother was all right. Someone came by and asked them to leave the glass and let the personnel on the floor do their jobs. Words started to exchange and before all was said and done, fans were fighting and I was told of a male patron attempting to hit a female patron.

Now in all three cases, I was not in attendance, but the fact remains that all three of these incidents show a great lack of respect in our society for each other, and for our game. What ever happened to going to a lacrosse game to be entertained? Or is what happened the entertainment itself? Have we lost sight of the great athleticism, great stick skills, and fabulous plays from our minor players, Junior players, and Major Series / Pro players? When did the Ultimate Fighting Championships enter lacrosse where fans get involved and take on one another?

I’ve never had a problem with scraps in lacrosse between two willing combatants, and I’ve even been involved in a few brawls back in the day, but I guess as I’m getting little older (and now with kids), I’m wondering if that is what I want my kids to see.

You see the big concern is not really the players themselves. In most cases, these are grown men, and they understand the issues that led to the brawls, and it likely won’t happen again. However, what about the 5 to 14 year old fans that might have been in attendance that saw it happen. They may not be able to comprehend all that happened and only remember the end results of the night. He or she may feel the need try that in their next game.

At some point we really need to ask ourselves, are the actions in these cases for the betterment of our game? Lacrosse is really growing in leaps and bounds all over the country, and I’m not sure that these latest instances are helping it too much.




  1. This type of incident in lacrosse is nothing new and has occurred throughout the games history. The greater access to the media that is available now days just makes things more accessible and you hear about it more. It is a tough game and sometimes tempers flare. It is also a way of sorting out incidents on the floor that go unnoticed by the referees. Let em go its entertaining!!! The players that get involved in the game are fully aware that these things occur. If you can’t take the heat play soccer!! That being said I can’t condone fighting in the stands. The players on the floor accept the realities of the game but if some idiot in the stands wants to get involved let the arena staff or the police deal with him. Keep the violence on the floor where it belongs. Yes my friends violence, and if you don’t think lacrosse is a violent game and are not willing to accept it then like I said you can play soccer!!

  2. I have to agree with Bridgenorth about the fact that this is nothing new and the fans do like it.
    I must say though that I only agree when it involves the older boys and men though. As for young children fighting and acting like this it is only a reflection of that childs PARENTS!!
    When a child acts in this manner he is learning it from home and these people have no respect for the game. And for coaches who condone this are no better than the low life parent who encourages it. Yes it is an violent game but we should be teaching our children how to play tough and with RESPECT!!
    Saying this I also can’t wait for the kids that are dirty litlle &^& now to grow up and find out what will happen when they act like that later..

  3. I think sports arenas contain a microcosm of society these days. We have turned into a me first society and if anyone disagrees with another’s opinion, a fight erupts. There is no respect for humanity anymore never mind someone one is competing against. I think many people have lost sight of what sports is all about, FUN! We all need to go back to our childhood, back to when we picked up a stick, bat, or ball for the first time and decided to play and learn the sport because it was fun. Nothing has changed from those days, sports are still about respect, discipline and most importantly, fun. For some of us older women and men, sports is also about holding on to a bit of our youth.

    Lacrosse is a violent game and fights will break out, there is no use trying to stop that, but we cannot accept the bench clearing brawls, no matter how entertaining they may be to some. Fights are personal and occur to rectify a perceived injustice, to send a message to the other team, to protect a star player (or a weaker player in house leagues), etc…, but brawls are impersonal, sometimes started solely for fun, and have no beneficial outcome to the game. Luckily for us fans, these brawls do not occur too often and are rarely repeated by the same participants so I don’t think we need to worry about the on floor altercations. We do need to ensure the message is sent to the youth that these type of occurences are not acceptable but with sports such as baseball seeing an increased number of brawls, I don’t know if the message will be received.

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