1882–1886 …Forgotten beginnings
The first ‘organised’ lacrosse game played in British Columbia (between teams representing two different cities) occurred on Saturday, August 28, 1886. Played at Beacon Hill Park between the Vancouver and Victoria clubs, the visiting mainlanders won by the score of 3-1 – or three “games” to one, in the old-style nomenclature used at the time.
However, while this particular match has gone into the history books as the first lacrosse game played in the province, the game’s roots in British Columbia actually go back by four years to 1882.
On Thursday, February 16 of that year, an athletic club was organised in Victoria that included lacrosse as one of its sports. This was then followed by a highly-publicised match played at Beacon Hill Park on Saturday afternoon, June 17, 1882 although it was essentially a scrimmage game between two teams made up from the mostly-inexperienced players of the Victoria Athletic Club. For unknown reasons, the club was reported (or misreported) in the newspaper as the “Vancouver Athletic Club” – possibly in reference to Vancouver Island, as “Vancouver” was four years away from existing as a geographical reference in British Columbia.
There are also newspaper records of a match in Victoria involving an unidentified collegiate team played a few weeks later as well as a photograph in the provincial archives dated from almost exactly a year later in 1883, taken in Victoria, of an unidentified lacrosse team in that city.