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Stick Tech Workshop - ReADeR TIPS!

Reader Questions Answered

September, 2000

What is the shortest an attack stick can be? Is it 41 or 40 inches? I had my proton and I thought it was 41 inches but I measured it at 40. I just shortened my Edge to 41 inches thinking that the Proton was 41 inches. Anyway, I just need to know the minimum length.
The minimum length for your stick is 40 inches, so you are safe. The maximum is 42. A defenseman's stick can be from 52 to 72 inches and a goalkeeper's can be anywhere from 40 to 72. The measurement is always from the tip of the head to the base of the shaft, so if you ever bake a stick or bend a shaft, be sure to leave room for a change before cutting and measure when done to see if you are too long or short before playing.

How narrow can a head be for field lacrosse? I want to pinch a head, but I want it to remain legal. What's the best way to pinch heads? - Geoff from New York
The head, at it's widest point must be between 6 and 10 inches. Use a ruler while baking to be sure that you don't ruin a head by making it unplayable. There are tons of ways to bake a stick check out the Stick Baking section of E-Lacrosse and the E-Lacrosse reader tips sections for plenty of suggestions!

I was wondering if it was legal (and beneficial) to use an STX C02 R-Force Composite Shaft and make my goalie head off set. Would that improve my throwing, rebounds, cradling at all? Some goalies play with an attack shaft, and I don't think it's a bad thing. - Sunil
Attack sized shafts are used by many goalies. And the offset shaft would not be illegal when used with a goalie head, unless it is used with one of the newer "offset" goalie heads. The goalie pocket is usually so deep that we don't see the typical benefit of an offset head applying here. The center of gravity on a goalie head is very low, as it is. We have not tried this but imagine that throws may seem heavier and more difficult with an offset head or shaft. Let us know what you think, if you decide to do it.

I'm new to lacrosse. I want to play on club teams when I start college in the fall. I recently bought a Brine Warp with a sure-shot pocket. I've read on about 4 different sites that the pocket is removable. Aren't all pockets removable? Or does it mean that it can be easily removed? None of the sites said anything about how to use that special feature. I want to dye my head, but not the pocket. What should I do?...Also, can I work the Sure Shot like a traditional stringing? Can I try some of the traditional stringing variations with it? - Austin
As you can see in the picture below, the warp has a nylon string that runs along the outside of the head. It is the only thing holding the pocket on the head other than a few strings tied off at the bottom and your shooting strings. To remove the pocket, just undo the shooters, if they are tied to the plastic, and pull the blue string out. It's just as easy to put back in. You cannot change the pocket configuration while it's out without great trouble. But you don't want to. That's the beauty of this pocket. It's ready to go and switch out easily. If you want a custom traditional stringing like a four diamond or dog track, just string one in another stick or with new string. The sure shot will be a great back up, if kept intact and stored somewhere with the blue outside string. The sureshot is adjustable though. Just loosen or tighten the nylon "leathers", sidewalls or shooters in the same way you would any traditional rig.

The Brine Warp with the Sureshot pocket

I'm not too familiar with stringing sticks in anything other than mesh or traditional. I read on this website that in previous articles you guys have given out the directions to dog track. You guys are awesome and I just read how to dye my heads the dye worked! Thanks soooo much! - Evan from Maryland
Thanks! The dog track pocket is outlined in the Stick Tech section of E-Lacrosse.

I was just wondering why people say it is bad to throw sidearm? Are there any disadvantages to it? - Jeff
There are many disadvantages to it for many players. It is a much harder pass to read when catching and it is never as consistently accurate as a good overhand pass. Mostly, coaches tell you not to use it because they are teaching fundamentals and good lacrosse practices. The sidearm pass has its place though. In tight coverage, a guy who almost always throws with a good overhead pass can fake overhead and deliver a quick sidearm pass to get out of trouble or open up the play for a goal and he won't get yelled at. On the other hand, a guy who has open field to work with and delivers a poor sidearm pass when there was no need for one, will get pulled faster that lightning. Its like a behind the back shot. When it's appropriate and works, everyone is ok with it, but when it was a bad decision and doesn't hit the mark, you look like a hot dog.

In your Q&A's you said there is no way to curve the ball. You were wrong. There is a way. First you have to put the ball in the sweet spot of your pocket. Then you go on as you would throw regular, but while in your motion you bring the stick across your face then back out, to the outside. This puts spin on the ball and curves it to the left and down if you are throwing with your right hand. - Pete
There is a difference between shooting deception and a curved ball. The move you describe simple makes the keeper think it's coming in one direction while it really goes left or right of that mark. A smooth heavy ball like a lacrosse ball will never curve once it has left the stick. That requires friction and resistance, which are not present unless the ball has some very noticeable imperfection. The rules of physics are pretty steadfast on this.

I Just heard of a new stick coming out soon called the impact. I can't seem to find any information on it anywhere. Have you heard of this stick? Also, do you know any neat tricks that can be used to make cool designs or shades when dying lax sticks? - Megan
The Impact (pictured below) has been out since July of this year and is pretty cool. It's basically an "offset" Women's stick with an open sidewall. The pocket sits in the "sweet spot" which provides for better than average control on cradling, shooting and passing. Jen Adams and Quinn Carney used it last year and kept using it all summer so I guess they like it. The whole Terps team will likely be using them this spring. Girls that I have talked to say that it scoops like a dream at every angle.

I need a little advice on custom stringing my stick. I currently use an STX Proton, strung with an eight diamond traditional pocket. My problem is that I would like more hook than my stick already has for more control on sidearm and underhand shots. I have tried a few times to add some hook, but nothing seems to work for me. Do you think you could give me some advice? - Mike
Hook or whip, as it is often called, can be created in two ways. The first is to loosen the lower shooters and sidewalls while keeping the top shooter at a normal tension. The other is to just make the top shooter very tight. Some younger players have all the shooters loose and the ball comes off the plastic creating a similar affect. This is not a good way to do it. Play with the tensions of the pocket and shooters and you'll get a comfortable mix. Don't get too reliant on the whip though. It slows your shots and sometimes causes embarrassing moments when you shoot the ball into your foot or 30 feet over the cage.

I was reading one of your Q&A sessions and you were talking about baking a head, what does that mean? And what does it result in? - Matt
Baking a stick is NOT necessary to have a cool stick or effective game. It's just a fun way to get more into the game and its nuances. The head becomes more narrow in most baking scenarios. Some think this creates a narrower path for the ball, but there are sticks on the market like the deBeer aftershock that is already that thin, so you don't have to bake a stick to get that affect. If you really want to bake a stick, use an old one that you don't mind messing up first. Check out the Baking Section of E-Lacrosse.

I have an old Viper I've been experimenting on and I would like to know if there is a method I could use to make it offset. - Chris
We've never seen a bake that would make a straight stick offset. There is the STX C02 R-Force shaft, which emulates an offset head. The Arch from deBeer emulates the stick bending made popular by the Gaits and other Canadian players. We actually have a viper in the office that is equipped with a R-Force shaft and it feels just like an Edge or many of the other offset rigs.

If I put my died head in the hot water when I pinch it will it destroy The color?
Not if it has been some time since you dyed the head. Just don't do it the same.

I'm a freshman at Cranbrook Kingswood Academy in Michigan. I started on my varsity squad this year as a middie and sometimes attack. I am really hoping to play in college somewhere. I am attending University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University camps this summer. I was wondering if there are any other ways to be seen and recognized by scouts for colleges. Do I have to send my stats or videos off to colleges or will they come to me if I'm good enough. And at what age will scouts start noticing people? This is extremely important to me. - Garrett
First, don't think for a minute that the scouts aren't looking past the "hotbeds" of lacrosse these days. At the STX Champ Camp this summer the finals were between New Jersey and Colorado. The final eight included teams from Illinois, New Hampshire, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Colorado destroyed some of the traditional Baltimore powerhouses. The biggest surprise of all: None of the many college coaches in attendance were that surprised. They know what's up. Just keep playing hard and getting known locally. Sending game highlights to coaches is a good idea, but imagine how many tapes a guy like Dom Starsia or John Desko get. Scouts start noticing players in youth leagues these days, but a college program cannot talk to you until your Junior year. Camps are a great way to get noticed, so keep doing that. E-Lacrosse will start a series of camps next summer and will actually provide game tapes to college coaches who could not make it to the camp. We hope to see you at one or more of the E-Lacrosse camps!

My coach says that a traditional pocket releases the ball faster making you have a faster shot compared to a mesh pocket, is that true? - B. Miller
First of all, your coach is always right. A tight traditional weave is a fast pocket but the popular hard mesh pockets are pretty fast. A loose traditional can be sloppy and slow, but a loose soft mesh is a cavern of inconsistency. Hope that helps.

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!

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