Host City: St. Louis, United States
Venue(s): Francis Field, Washington University, St. Louis
Date Started: July 2, 1904
Date Finished: July 7, 1904
Format: Single 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 5-7, 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.
Until my earlier work on the 1904 Olympic Games was published in 1981, 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. They apparently were from the area surrounding Brantford, Ontario. The discovery of their roster allow 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 Soap, and Rain in Face.
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.