If the newly proposed stick rule changes go through this year in college lacrosse, we’re going to see a rash of players working out new ways to string up their sticks. As WarPigs Lacrosse mentioned (with great insight!) in the comments of The Lacrosse Show post, technology and innovation almost always outstrip regulation, as the latter is almost always reactionary in nature, so we’re here to keep you ahead of the curve. Let’s get started at the most basic level: Sidewalls.
How can you take your 2012 head, and make simple changes so that it will comply with the potential 2013 rules?
Most players use sidewalls that travel down the head, go through the mesh, through the plastic on the inside, and then back through the sidewall itself. It locks the mesh ring down, pushes the mesh into the middle of the throat a bit, and creates a tight channel effect when the mesh is pulled down tight.
The only problem with this approach in 2013 is that IF the rule change goes through where the ball has to fall out of the BACKSIDE of the head, many of these sticks will become illegal because of that very same bunched mesh channel.
So what can be done to fix this problem?
It’s actually pretty simple. Instead of going through the mesh and then through the plastic on the inside of the head, go through the mesh then go through the plastic on the OUTSIDE of the head.
This pulls the mesh out, and helps keep the sidewall strings from collapsing to the inside of the head, and this is why your ball always sticks in the back. At the top of the head, I still used the typical pull down method and went from the inside of the plastic. As soon as I got to the narrow part of the throat, I switched up my approach, and went from the outside.
The result was basically the EXACT same pocket. The ball came out a little easier with the outside method, but it passed the back of the stick test with flying colors. I’m sure stringing experts will find a combination of the two that gives a player hold, but isn’t illegal, and I don’t think it will take them long to find the solution(s).
This solution is SO effective, that when I used it on a high school head, it still passed the new proposed test.
You can still string low pockets, and mid pockets and high pockets. You can still play with more whip or hold, and you can still use the Iroquois top string. The exact way you do it might have to change a little, but overall, these changes really aren’t too drastic. Now the question becomes, will they be effective?
To see more of these heads in video action, check out The Lacrosse Show: Proposed NCAA Stick Stringing Rule Changes.