Lacrosse in Space? It Happened Once Upon a Time

If Usain Bolt’s zero-gravity exploits in France on Wednesday had you wondering if anyone had ever played lacrosse in similar conditions, we’ll throw it back to 2002, when NASA deployed lacrosse sticks and a hacky sack on the International Space Station.

From an October 2015 article by then-Lacrosse Magazine deputy editor Corey McLaughlin:

“As part of NASA’s International Toys in Space program, U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson and Russian cosmonauts Valery Korzun and Sergei Treshchev tested 16 items for how weightlessness affected them and compared to life down below. Yo-yo’s, spinning tops and jump ropes, among other things, were part of the experiments, and three sports were played — soccer, hockey and lacrosse.

“Cindy McArthur, head of NASA’s Teaching from Space project, said the Creator’s Game was picked for its North American roots and its practicality. The plastic sticks and soft ball passed safety, size and weight requirements to be launched on a space shuttle and used in the fragile environment of a habitable artificial satellite. Also, one or two people could easily play the game without harm.

“In a NASA video available on YouTube, right-handers Korzun and Treshchev pass back and forth, smiles on their faces. ‘Lacrosse is definitely a game that works in space. It may be the best for a space station,’ Whitson narrates.

“The ball flies in a straight line because of the lack of gravity. A shooter’s paradise.”

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