Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): White City Stadium, London; White City Stadium, London
Date Started: October 24, 1908
Date Finished: October 24, 1908
Format: Single contest.
Following the withdrawal of South Africa only one match was played in the lacrosse tournament with Canada facing Great Britain for Olympic honors. The match was started at 1:00 PM (1300), immediately before the soccer final which resulted in a large crowd being present for the lacrosse game. The vast majority of the spectators knew little of lacrosse and even those familiar with the game were often confused, as some rules had been modified to bring together certain differences in the Canadian and English laws. The goal crease was enlarged and special restrictions prevented an opponent from entering it. The ball was intermediate in weight between the lighter English ball and the heavier Canadian ball. Play was also divided into four quarters instead of two halves.
At the end of the first quarter Canada led 5-1 and then 6-2 at half-time after which some brilliant play by England tied the game at 9-9, before Canada rallied to win an excellent game, 14-10. Excellent sportsmanship was demonstrated during the match. When Canada's Angus Dillon broke his stick and was having difficulty finding a replacement, England's R. G. Martin agreed to stay out until Dillon returned. At the end of the game, the players exchanged sticks, shook hands and congratulated each other on a well-played match.
Previous Canadian lacrosse teams to visit England had been known simply as "The Canadians" and were usually from the Toronto area, but the Olympics marked the first time that a Canadian team had been selected on a nation-wide basis. Several trial games were held before a team from clubs as far apart as New Westminster in the west and Montreal in the east was finally chosen. The eventual make-up of the squad saw all parts of Canada represented: four members were from the Montreal Shamrocks, two from the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, one from the Montreal Nationals, and two were from New Westminster. One player each came from Calgary, Ottawa, Cornwall, Toronto, St. Catharines, and Orangeville. The British also took unusual care over selection and the painstaking selection process adopted by both countries resulted in a game of the highest quality.