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Lacrosse, Men

Date2 – 7 July 1904
LocationFrancis Field, Washington University, St. Louis
Participants36 from 2 countries
FormatSingle elimination tournament.

Lacrosse was contested in the 1904 Olympics, and it deserves that classification as an Olympic sport. Although only three teams competed, two of them were from a foreign country, Canada, and one of the Canadian teams won the championship.

The events were contested on the infield of the Olympic stadium on July 2 and 7, 1904. There were four teams entered: the Winnipeg Shamrocks of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; the St. Louis AAA (Amateur Athletic Association); the Mohawk Indians of Canada; and the Brooklyn Crescents. The Brooklyn Crescents did not appear because of a ruling by the Eastern Lacrosse Association that they had used professional players during games in the spring of 1904, which caused them to be banned from the Olympics. This ban came very late, in June, and the team could not be replaced. It should have been replaced with the St. Paul Lacrosse Club, who was undefeated, and had even tied the Winnipeg Shamrocks that same year.

The Winnipeg Shamrocks were the class of the three teams, easily defeating the St. Louis AAA in the final 8-2. Lacrosse was contested again at the 1908 Olympics as an official Olympic sport, but has not appeared on the Olympic program since. However, the 1904 lacrosse tournament is certainly of Olympic caliber, having been contested by amateur athletes of both America and foreign countries with no restrictions placed on them.

Winnipeg was in St. Louis for several weeks and played several other games during their stay, including one against St. Louis AAA on 6 July which they won, 6-1. It is not clear if this should be considered an Olympic match or not.

Until research on the 1904 Olympic Games was published in 1981 (by Mallon), the Mohawk Indian team was unknown, and the Brooklyn Crescents entry was not recorded either. Some sources list the Mohawk Indian team as actually an Iroquois Indian team, as the Mohawks were one of the six nations of the Six Nations Confederacy of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Native American (First Nations) peoples. They apparently were from the area surrounding Brantford, Ontario, and the discovery of their roster allows us to add the following wonderful Native American names to the list of Olympic medalists: Black Hawk, Black Eagle, Almighty Voice, Flat Iron, Spotted Tail, Half Moon, Lightfoot, Snake Eater, Red Jacket, Night Hawk, Man Afraid of the Soap, and Rain in Face.

In various other 1904 St. Louis newspapers covering other games they played, we have discovered the English names of all of their players. There were also several other Mohawk players who played on their American tour, whose English names were as follows: Philip Jackson, Thomas Will, L. Bumbary, J. B. Eaver, W. E. Martin (who was actually the coach), and Charlie Johnson.

1Winnipeg ShamrocksCANGold
Élie BlanchardBilly BrennaghGeorge BretzBilly BurnsGeorge CattanachGeorge CloutierSandy CowanJack FlettBenjamin JamiesonStuart LaidlawHilliard LyleLawrence Pentland
2St. Louis Amateur Athletic AssociationUSASilver
J. W. DowlingW. R. GibsonHugh GroganTom HunterWilliam MurphyWilliam PartridgeGeorge PassmoreWilliam PassmoreW. J. RossJack SullivanAlbert VennA. M. Woods
3Mohawk IndiansCANBronze
Almighty Voice Black Eagle Black Hawk Flat Iron Half Moon Lightfoot Man Afraid of the Soap Night Hawk Rain in Face Red Jacket Snake Eater Spotted Tail

Round One

Date2 July 1904
Match #102 JulSt. Louis Amateur Athletic AssociationUSA2 – 2Mohawk IndiansCANtie

Final Round

Date7 July 1904
Match 1/207 JulWinnipeg ShamrocksCAN8 – 2St. Louis Amateur Athletic AssociationUSA