SAT Question of the Week #2: Writing and Language

Writing on chalk board in black and white

Which choice best maintains the sentence pattern already established in the paragraph?

Lacrosse and Its Cultural Heritage

The game known today as lacrosse—a rougher version of soccer, similar in its use of a large field and goals, which uses throwing sticks with netted baskets at one end to manipulate a ball approximately the size of a tennis ball—is actually one of the oldest team sports in North America. The modern version of lacrosse has it’s being roots in several First Nations, including the Onondaga, Eastern Cherokee, Choctaw, and Mohawk, among others.

There is historical evidence of lacrosse games occurring in modern-day Canada as early as 1100 CE, but by the seventeenth century European traders and explorers had begun to document games as they witnessed them. Traditional games of lacrosse, or dehuntshigwa-es in the language of Onondaga nation, were extended events sometimes held over the course of several days and involved a significant number of players. The rules for each game would be determined by the gathering tribes by a day or two prior to the beginning of the game, including, for example, coming to an agreement, about that field’s goals, usually marked by large rocks or tall trees. Whichever indicator was chosen, the distances between them varied widely, such that the field of play could be 500 yards or almost 6 miles. These stickball games, which spurred the convergence of several different tribes, served many social purposes; as demonstrated by the collective religious observance to honor the Creator, the settling of tribal disputes, and young warriors’ practice of martial skills (the Eastern Cherokee did not call the game dah-nah-wah’uwsdi, or “little war,” for nothing). It was particularly vital a function to maintaining diplomacy and confederation within the Six Nations of the Iroquois, as an example, where a lacrosse victory signified divine sanction for one challenger over another. The significance of stickball was not restricted to men either: Native American women actually had their own adaptation, called amtahcha, which used shorter sticks with larger heads.

[1] Today, lacrosse is played competitively at the secondary and collegiate level, as well as recreationally, across much of North America—too often disassociated, in the minds of those who play it, from its indigenous history. [2] The Iroquois Nationals, representing the Iroquois Confederacy on the lacrosse field, have endeavored to conjure that rich cultural significance into the sport as a whole. [3] The players’ interest in reminding the general public of the historical and religious contexts of the game arises out of their combined experiences as individuals of First Nation heritage and they are citizens of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, another name for the Iroquois nation. [4] Their respect for the cultural heritage of lacrosse is manifested in their technical skill, which in turn leads to their consistent presence in the top four of the Lacrosse World Championship. [5] Once the Nationals were officially recognized in 1987 by the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) as representing a full member nation, where they began to officially compete on a national level in 1990. [6] The Nationals’ apparent prowess and commitment have attracted both recognition and investment throughout North America.

Many universities now seek to recruit players from the Nationals and have consequently increased public interest in Iroquois history. As its audience continues to grow around the world, lacrosse’s rich historical and cultural significance will only enhance players’ and spectators’ experience of the sport.

B) attracted: both recognition and investment
C) attracted, both recognition and investment,
D) attracted both recognition and investment,

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Though this sentence looks complicated at first, it only appears that way because of the compound subject “prowess and commitment” and the longer object “both recognition and investment.” If we reduce this sentence to its simplest form, it is these characteristics have demonstrated these things. A simple sentence like this doesn’t need commas to be clearly understandable.
Choice (A) is the best answer.