Reader Questions Answered

June, 2000


I was wondering if it is at all possible to shoot a lacrosse ball in the air and make it curve. I know how to put spin on a bounce shot but not one in the air. If you know how to do it I would really like to know. - Brian Schuh
Unless you consider down a curve, the answer is no. You can make it go in different directions on bounces off the ground if you twist your stick on release so the ball is spinning sideways when it contacts the turf. A baseball or tennis ball has a more flexible construction and textures on the surface to catch the air needed to create the curve.


I was wondering if there is a limit to the amount of shooting strings a player is allowed to have in their pocket? - David
There is no mention in the NCAA Rulebook about the amount of shooting strings you can have. I wouldn't recommend using to many. You should want to feel the ball hitting the shooters as it passes by them on the way out. The passage should be smooth but not so smooth that you cannot tell what's happening as you shoot. If you like more than four shooters or tight, close together shooters, then just get a hard mesh and string the shooters relatively loose.


I am on an inner city Baltimore lacrosse team. I start the game on the faceoff to get the groundball and then come out for the rest of the game. Would you consider that starting? - Jamal
The Face off midfield, the man-down defense and man-up offense are all starters in our opinion, even if they leave the field afterward. This is especially true of the face off guy. You have more opportunity to dominate a game or blow a game than any player on the team. In fact, how smart you transition and how fast you hustle out after taking or losing a face-off so a scorer or a defenseman can do their job too is incredibly important to your team's success. Dealing with the stop and start nature of the position is hard but also important. It's like a second string running back for an NFL team, running back punts and kick-offs. He gets totally pumped up with a thirty yard return and then sits again until they need him. Maturity and the true team mentality is needed to be a really good face off man.


There's a Native American company that makes 2 heads. Their company is Mohawk International Lacrosse. I've seen them being used indoors but hardly outdoors. I was just wondering if their illegal outdoors. I've seen some messages posted by people who own these heads and they say their great heads. There's 2 heads. One is offset and the other is not, like the Shockwave and Aftershock but these heads are much narrower. If you have any info on these sticks I would appreciate it very much.
The E-Lacrosse Tech Team tested the MIL Thunder last year and the reviews were mixed, until everyone baked them. The scoop is flat, and I mean flat. It's one of the best box sticks around when baked even thinner than it's barely legal factory width. Once baked though, it is usually illegal on the fields of American high schools and colleges. It's probably the stiffest head made and if you like the flat scoop, it's the face-off stick to go with. One of the Tech Teamers took the stick to the Lake Placid tournament and used it to win an MVP award. His baked MIL Thunder wasn't legal for the college season, so it got dumped for a Proton.



The super-stiff MIL Thunder
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I wanted to know what the stiffest/strongest head on the market was. And I also wanted to know the stiffest/strongest of all the offset heads. - Pat from Ocean City, MD
The stiffest head in the business is also the stiffest offset head. It is the Arrow by MIL. It has a straight scoop that must be baked or bent to be effective outdoors but is just legal when done right. The stiff alternatives are the Rock by Shamrock, the Shockwave or aftershock by deBeer. The Laser Hi-Wall by STX or the MX by Brine are still the best stiff straight heads out there. If you are facing off, try one of these and thank us later.


Do you know how the sureshot pocket found on brine warp plays? I heard good reviews from some people and bad from others. One of the things I heard was that the synthetic material did not break in or stretch as well.


The nylon Sureshot laces


Your friends were all correct. It is a great pocket if you string a stick to stay consistent and do not like to doctor the stick between games. The synthetic "leathers" do not stretch much at all. You are supposed to string or adjust the pocket so that it throws well for you without a break-in period. It's ready to go out of the store if you tell them what you want when ordering it. If you buy it factory strung, or store strung off the shelf, just loosen the side strings and adjust the shooters to your liking and BE SURE THE KNOTS ARE TIGHT, and you're set for the season. The same properties that allow stretch in a string fabric provide for the grip in most knots. The Sureshot "leather" string does not give and will require a double knot at the bottom.


I was wondering if you could tell me how to string an interlocking sidewall? thanks! - Phil



The interlocking sidewall is built into most sticks now. Just cross over the laces (as shown) as you go through the holes in the plastic. It keeps them from moving unless you adjust them on purpose.


First off, I think that the site is great. Its been a real help to me throughout my lacrosse playing career. Second, I have a question about deBeer Shockwave heads. Well, there's a kid at school who owns one, with a Pita/Dogtrack pocket in it, and two of the thin, nylon shooting/throwing strings, or whatever they're called. The top one is somewhat tight, and the bottom one is moderately looser. In other words, I can't see what they were really accomplishing. Anyway, I got to throw with it a couple of times, and my God, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever experienced. The ball didn't even come close to irritatingly hit the plastic up top, and it threw exactly where I wanted it to, the first time, with no prior use of it on my part. I don't get it. So, basically, my question is: Is the deBeer Shockwave really as good as I seem to think it is? - Alan



It sounds like you have a box-like throwing style or preference. We found it hard to create a whip in the Shockwave while the shooting ease, especially when shooting with correct fundamentals. The scoop is set further back and the holes for stringing the shooters are further forward than the scoop. It doesn't allow for lazy scoops or cradles and demands upright fundamental play to be effective but fast shooters love them. Just look at the indoor pros. The Edge or Proton are slower sticks, but they suit many field players and the settled offensive style. Brine makes a new head called the Superlight 2000 which is as fast as they come with hard mesh, and if you really like fast sticks, GET RID OF YOUR OFFSET! The STX Turbo, Sniper or Viper, the Brine Shotgun or Oz and the deBeer Aftershock are non-offset and play fast. Remember the word "quickstick". Not to many kids have a real quickstick out there today! Scotty Urick at Georgetown and Andrew Combs are a few we've seen really master it in the college game recently. Princeton coach Bill Tierney banned the offset heads from his team in 1999 because they are slow and inconsistent. If kids started buying the non-offset sticks again, some great new straight designs from the manufacturers would follow. Here's hoping!


I'm shopping for shoes for my son, but the offerings don't fit the needs of lacrosse. The choices are baseball, football, or soccer style shoes. These all have extra padding or protection that add extra weight to the shoe, and are not really needed for lacrosse. - Bruce
You are correct. There is not one manufacturer that actually makes a shoe for the needs of a lacrosse player. There are, however, adequate shoes on the market for older kids. The younger ones are pretty much stuck with the few hard soccer or football cleats available in the local sporting goods store.


I've just started to play this wonderful game of lacrosse and I have a couple of questions. First, what is the difference with hockey laces and normal shooting strings? And why aren't there any great lacrosse schools and or teams were I live in Ohio? - Chris
The hockey laces are softer and bigger so you get the feel of the ball passing the strings but the ball comes off of them soft. The nylon shooters, when tied tight and doubled make it a much rougher ride for the ball on the way out, but a more consistent shot. Players with hard shots usually like tighter shooting strings, even if they use shoelaces. And Ohio is way ahead of most states in Lax power. Joe Breschi's Ohio State program is the buzz on high school and summer league fields in Maryland. There are at least three top 40 high school teams in Ohio, in our opinion and the MLL chose Columbus as the premeir city for the Summer Showcase. Ohio rocks!


Thanks for all your questions? Keep them coming and we'll do a Q&A session every few months! Send them to john@tonabricks.com!