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Hawaii Lacrosse: The Original Stickball Game


photo: courtesy Hawaii Lacrosse

What started in the ’80s as a few East-Coast transplants throwing a lacrosse ball around Kapiolani Park has grown into Hawaii Lacrosse, the local chapter of the U.S. Lacrosse organization.

For men, women and kids looking for a new activity, lacrosse is an excellent team sport, combining elements of cardiovascular and strength training.

Today, Native American tribes created the sport as a way for warriors, young and old, to become stronger and more efficient in battle situations.

All are welcome to join Hawaii Lacrosse, regardless of skill or experience, but it should be noted that lacrosse can get physically competitive.

“We ask new players to watch the game progress for awhile before jumping right in. We also require all players to be registered with U.S. Lacrosse,” says Hawaii Lacrosse president Ryan Counter. Trying the game out doesn’t require a big investment, either. Hawaii Lacrosse and AYLA can provide gear and equipment for those who have a desire and interest in the sport.

Men’s divisions, ranging from ages 18-plus, 33-plus and 44-plus, play every Sunday at 11 a.m. at Kapiolani Park. The women’s division, 18-plus, plays on Sundays too, but with less regularity. For kids, AYLA (Aloha Youth Lacrosse Association) runs from February to May and also provides off-season camps and clinics.

“We currently have approximately 75 members of the Men’s Club and 25 members of the Women’s club. Many of the Club members are coaches or referees for the youth and have helped grow the game at that level. Currently there are 200 to 300 registered boys and girls participating in third grade through high school,” adds Counter.

Seeking to perpetuate and heighten lacrosse’s tradition, the Hawaii Lacrosse Invitational Tournament, held each October, attracts some of the best lacrosse players nationally, as well as from Japan, Australia and Canada.

“This tournament has been a driving factor in the visibility and awareness of lacrosse in Hawaii, and has helped us raise money to support the club and youth programs. It is a truly unique event in the lacrosse world,” says Counter.

For more about Hawaii Lacrosse or to contact a representative visit hawaiilacrosse.com.


A professional writer for 10 years, Fleck has covered a variety topics from history and sports to food and science. He currently is an adjunct professor at Hawaii Pacific University, teaching in both the communication and journalism departments. He is an avid runner and hiker and has embraced living in Hawaii since 2004.

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Honolulu Magazine April 2018
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