Twenty years ago in 1994, Tom Heck, founder of the Asheville Lacrosse Club (ALC) started a youth lacrosse program for 4th-8th graders. He was assisted by current WNC director of officials Duncan Sharits and local businessman Richard Sims of Sims Futon Gallery. Heck was Director of Adventure Learning at the YMCA and taught the game through summer camps and clinics. The goal of the youth lacrosse was “To teach as many people as possible to play and learn about the game.” The ALC eventually sponsored an short-lived indoor league in the fall of 2000 to grow the game. Interest in youth lacrosse waxed and waned over the years waiting for a spark.
History of Youth Lacrosse in Asheville
The Creators Game
Lacrosse was one of many varieties of indigenous stickball games being played by American Indians at the time of European contact. Almost exclusively a male team sport, it is distinguished from the others, such as field hockey or shinny, by the use of a netted racquet with which to pick the ball off the ground, throw, catch and convey it into or past a goal to score a point. The cardinal rule in all varieties of lacrosse was that the ball, with few exceptions, must not be touched with the hands.