Oxford-Cambridge Lacrosse Team at Central High School

Check out this photo from around 1930. What is up with the ridiculous striped uniforms? This is a shot of a lacrosse game being held at Central High School (now Cardozo).

Lacross game at Central High School circa 1930 (Shorpy)
Lacrosse game at Central High School circa 1930 (Shorpy)

The game was between Oxford-Cambridge and St. John’s College of Annapolis on April 1st, 1930. The Washington Post wrote bout the British star athletes touring the east coast, making their stop at the D.C. high school.

The first major lacrosse game of the season will be staged in Central High School stadium this afternoon, marking the first appearance of the champion St. John’s College Team, of Annapolis, as well as the first game of a long series arranged for the Oxford-Cambridge Twelve, making its third invasion of the country in quest of the John Flannery Cup.

Officials of many of the foreign embassies here have accepted invitations to witness this game and a large number of Washington’s growing list of followers of the stick game are expected to fill the stands when play is started at 4 o’clock.

Little is known of the comparative strength of the two teams. The team which won the intercollegiate title last year for St. John’s has been largely rebuilt by Coach Dinty Moore, former Johns Hopkins star, due to the loss of many players by graduation last June. He has had little opportunity to see his squad under fire this spring.

The last tour of the Oxford-Cambridge twelve in 1926 was not very successful. Twelve of the thirteen American teams met gained victories, many by narrow margins, however. In 1922 the Flannery Cup was carried back to England by virtue of eight victories in fifteen games.

The game between the Brits and the Americans wasn’t close, with St. John’s winning 7-2. However, this was the only loss for the Oxford-Cambridge team during their tour. In aggregate, the Brits scored 114 goals over the American teams’ 36 goals … it should be noted that a number of the British players were actually American Rhodes scholars studying in England.

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Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • The striped blazers are an Oxford and Cambridge thing–they identify your membership in a particular sporting club. Members of the first team from either Cambridge or Oxford would be entitled to wear solid “Full Blue” blazers in their respective university colours–Dark Blue for Oxford and Light Blue for Cambridge. As this is a combined tour, I’m betting the blazers reflect the joint nature of the team, and are probably alternating Light/Dark Blue stripes.

    Blazers are a pretty big deal over there, incidentally. The colour and trim of a blazer (even down to the buttons), as well as a man’s necktie, will identify his university and club affiliation–even down to his position on what Americans might call the depth chart.

  • So, which team is which in the picture? Are the Brits wearing the striped jackets, or the Americans?

    • I’d be shocked if the chaps in the striped blazers are NOT the visiting Oxford/Cambridge team. Americans don’t (generally) do that sort of thing, but it is the most Oxbridge thing I can think of.

  • Also: the St. John’s coach was DINTY MOORE?! The canned beef stew mogul?

  • Clark

    Those striped jackets are very traditional English school blazers. You should see the colors of Etonian socks!

  • Braulio

    Ha! These days the only intercollegiate sport St. John’s (my alma mater) competes in is the annual croquet match against the Naval Academy. The outfits, as you might imagine, are quite different …

  • Ha, I’ll have to show my husband this picture, he’s from Annapolis and played lacrosse in college. This is a wonderful picture….love the shorts!

  • Yeah. I can’t believe that GoDC Tom called out the striped jackets as ridiculous when the Americans are standing around in those shorts!

    — and I’m completely with ouij on Coach Dinty Moore! That. Is. Awesome.

    • I can’t make fun of those shorts … A) they’re awesome B) I have a pair

  • A few more clues on the Oxford/Cambridge 12 (probably would have been written “Oxford/Cambridge XII”) tours: It seems this was a fairly regular occurrence. this site reports that Lester B. Pearson, future Prime Minister of Canada, was a member of the 1922 Oxford/Cambridge lacrosse team that toured the United States.

    Of course, it would make perfect sense that the Ancient Universities’ best lacrosse players were transplanted Canadians and Americans. That certainly matches up with my experience over there–lots of Americans & Canadians on the Ice Hockey and Lacrosse clubs.

    Sadly, I’m not aware of such a joint Oxford/Cambridge tour these days.

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