Lacrosse is a team sport played with a lacrosse stick and a lacrosse ball. It is the oldest organized sport in North America, with its origins in aboriginal Canada as early as the 17th century. The game was extensively modified by colonizers, reducing the violence, to create its current collegiate and professional form. Players use the head of the lacrosse stick to carry, pass, catch, and shoot the ball into the goal. The sport has four versions that have different sticks, fields, rules and equipment: field lacrosse, women's lacrosse, box lacrosse and intercrosse. The men's games, field lacrosse (outdoor) and box lacrosse (indoor), are contact sports and all players wear protective gear: helmet, gloves, shoulder pads, and elbow pads. The women's game is played outdoors and does not allow body contact but does allow stick to stick contact. The only protective gear required for women players is eyegear, while goalies wear helmets and protective pads. Intercrosse is a mixed-gender non-contact sport played indoors that uses an all-plastic stick and a softer ball. The modern sport is governed by World Lacrosse and is the only international sport organization to recognize First Nations bands and Native American tribes as sovereign nations. The organization hosts the World Lacrosse Championship for men, the Women's Lacrosse World Cup, the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship for box lacrosse, and the Under-19 World Lacrosse Championships for both men and women. Each is held every four years.
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