E-Lacrosse Q & A
Reader Questions Answered
WARNING: Ovens, lighters, matches, knives, and other tools called for in the E-Lacrosse Stick Tech section can be dangerous when not properly used. If you intend on trying any of these tips at home, you must tell your parents exactly what your plans are before proceding. Improper use of some of the tools suggested can result in cutting, burning or staining yourself or your family's property. So ask FIRST, and be careful!
I recently heard about a game that is very similar to Lacrosse, but with a few exceptions, and I was wondering if you could identify it for me. The game, witnessed in the mid 1960's in Hendersonville, NC, by my 80 year-old grandfather, was being played during halftime at a football game. The exceptionwas that the players were using their teeth to hold and carry the ball but also used the traditional stick. They were either Native American or were of Native decent. If you could provide ANY information on what this could have been, please do. You would make me, and my dear grandfather, very happy. Thanks! - Melissa
Your Grandfather saw Toli, an ancestor of modern lacrosse. It is played with two smaller sticks, one in each hand. Versions of Toli are played, or have been played, by many Southeastern Native American groups, including the Choctaw, Creek and the Cherokee. Toli is also currently enjoyed by a following of non-natives in Mississippi and throughout the southeast in community or university clubs.

The Philadelphia, Mississippi area is rich with heritage of the game and culture and you can find new and used sticks in most shops there. A great website on the sport is available through the University of Georgia, one of the most noted Toli clubs. The picture above is of Toli sticks and a ball that we picked up this year in Mississippi. You can see that the ball is made of rawhide and can be held in teeth and has been known to while a player fends off defenders with both sticks. It has also known that a check to the teeth can be costly so many players keep the ball in the stick. No protective equipment is worn and often the games are played by both sexes.

I found the site and I took a brine OZ $30 dollar stick and unmeshed that bad Larry. Grabbed a stringing kit and just took the nylon and started it up. I first dyed the head a glue gun streak blue/white fade. I then stuck only PARTS of the nylon in the dye so it was like on off blue/white which was a nice effect. Even though it took me about 2 days and 3 re-stringings to get the Homegrown pocket perfect, I love it. I like this site a lot, and it sure beats buying a rocket pocket. By stringing my own stick I learned a lot about stringing and I know how to alter my stick if it ever messes up, rather then knowing nothing when you just buy the stick. I will send some pics of the stick soon, you will be WOWED! Its almost as good as that shamrock head on the site. Its true about the homegrown though. You can really feel the ball were it needs to be. - Josh Cashment, Salem, NC
Thanks for all the kind words and send those pictures anytime. We agree that stringing is a very educational craft for every lacrosse player and is a great way to get smart about lacrosse. If you can string well, you can throw, catch and shoot well. That is a fact. You should enter the stick in our dying contest. Read below!

I read your article on dying heads and it never really occurred to me to do so. But now I'm thing of dying my Evolution using the glue gun technique. Tell me, how could I accomplish a green and yellow splatter look? I'm looking for the head to be green but have flecks of yellow on it. Would I have to dye it first yellow, then do the glue gun routine in order to accomplish this? Please help. - Peter Witkowski
You got it. Dye the whole head yellow and the use the glue gun technique to do the green. Be sure to wait for the dye to dry and then stick the head in the freezer for a half hour or so before removing the glue. This makes it easier to peel the dried glue, revealing the yellow underneath.

I have a question about Girls Lacrosse. Is checking when you hit the other person's stick to knock the ball away? - Julia
Yes, it is. But there are rules about how this can and cannot be done. There are even special, more stringent rules, called "modified checking rules", for the younger leagues. Check out Trish Cummings' Girls Lax Guide column on E-Lacrosse for more information!

I watched an NLL game on CNNSI last weekend and I didn't see any Long Sticks I was wondering if they used Long Sticks in the NLL and if so how many are normally on a team and if they are not used do defensemen use short sticks to play defense.
A long stick would be a distinct disadvantage in such close quarters. We have never seen them used in box but do not know if they are illegal. Everyone has to play offense and defense in box and a long stick would be too easy to check. Also the long stick would prevent quick changes in defensive stance and keep the defender too far away from the shooter to prevent shots on the run usually averted or thrown off by a cross check from a close defender.

I have and Warrior Evolution and feel that its a great stick. Unfortunately, it bent badly. It bent so bad that the left sidewall is completely straight and parallel to the shaft. I know e-lacrosse does a lot with baking sticks. So, my question is, are there any ways that I can get this thing back into shape? - Peter
First, you need to buy a stiffer head next time you're buying, but we can still save this one. You will have to place the stick in the opposite bent position for a long period of time. You need to find some heavy things around the house that you can position the stick around for a few days maybe. Just use a tool box and a big rock from the yard or something. Put the stick on the basement or garage floor with the head up against the big rock so it is bent in the other direction so that it is parallel to the shaft. Set the heavy toolbox on the shaft and head to keep it in place and leave it for half a day. Check it every so often and you'll see the gradual improvement. We've done this before.

I just started lacrosse a few months ago and I'm in 8th grade. How long will it take to get good enough to play for varsity teams? - Danny Lee
Lacrosse is picked up by some more quickly than others, but work ethic and practice has a lot to do with it. At first, wall drills are the key. Spend an hour every day by yourself throwing against a wall. Always use your equipment when practicing, even with yourself. Catching with and without a helmet and gloves off is a completely different skill than doing it with them on. You don't have time to learn twice. As you play with others, always be moving, even when just playing catch. Lacrosse is not played standing still. These will get you started, along with the things it always takes to become a good athlete. Consult your school's trainer or your doctor about lifting and running routines to build speed, flexibility and strength.

I have been playing for a few years and live in California. It's like there's a lacrosse void in clothing. Everything is like a polo shirt or team shorts or something. The E-Lacrosse upside down visor and bucket hats are cool, but what else is out there. Surfing has a million clothing items and the surfers out here have no money for clothes. The lax players buy all the surf clothes. Are there lax clothing items that are cooler in the east coast stores? - T.J.
T.J., That's just what Gerry Byrne and Bill Edell were thinking when they started 6 Tribes, a new apparel company in New England that incorporates lacrosse subtly into more mainstream fashions. They have a Pacific Rim look to this year's offerings. We'll do a full review in our January Lacrosse Apparel Review, but here are a few pictures to whet your appetite. These will be available in the E-Lacrosse store in about two weeks, as well.

I'm only 12 years old and just starting to play lacrosse. I have a STX Excalibur and I'm wondering if I should get a different stick. I don't have a big budget any help?
Mark Millon used the Excalibur until he left STX for upstart Warrior. It is one of the all-time great heads, especially to learn with. It's just not a status symbol. If I recall correctly, 12 is not the most lucrative age, so save the money you do have for other important things.

The STX Excalibur

I am looking for the rules of lacrosse and the positions of the players. I also want to know who invented lacrosse and when and where. - Mariam
Lacrosse was invented by the aboriginal people of North America, but no one knows exactly when. Read the E-Lacrosse History of Lacrosse for more information. The positions are 3 Attack (offense only), 3 Midfield (offense and defense), 3 Defense and 1 Goalie. The rules, unfortunately, are copyrighted and sold by the NCAA and others instead of just given away to kids like you who just want to know how to play. They cost about 8 bucks and are found in our store and most other Lacrosse specialty stores. Trish Cummings has a pretty good summary of the women's rules on the E-Lacrosse Girls Lax Guide.

I just started college at the University of Houston and they do not have a Women's Lacrosse team. I really want to play but I have no idea how to find a team in my area (Friendswood, Texas). Any help or suggestions would be great. - Mary
First, put an ad in the E-Lacrosse free classifieds under players. Someone will help you there. But then call US Lacrosse at 1-410-235-6882 and ask them for the contact in your area for US Lacrosse. They are the national governing body of the sport and the Texas Chapter will have contacts. There's a ton of lacrosse going on in Texas! Check out this article from a couple weeks ago in the Dallas Morning News!


Is it possible to string the custom pockets that are shown on the Stick Tech site using a traditional STX stringing kit? Or is that not enough string? Is it possible that you could do an article just on breaking pockets in? I've seen a couple of tips in reader suggestions (the knife trick, etc.), but was wondering if you could do a full article on it. I am specifically interested in techniques for traditional pockets. - Brad Maynes
Not in most cases. You must figure 25 feet or more for Van O'Banion's designs and more than a traditional kit for some of the others. It's best when getting into stringing custom pockets at that level to buy the spool of string. It's much cheaper in the long run. We love the idea of a full story on breaking in pockets, but we want our readers' help. Send us your specific pocket break-in tips, tricks and questions over the next month and we'll work on it for February. Great idea Brad!

Do you have any more info on the Paul Gait (trakker) pocket how it is kept together? Where its kept together? Also, any close up shots of the front or back? - Rolland
It's funny that you ask that. Within the last two weeks we've had the opportunity to speak with Paul Gait at length about the Trakker Pocket. We also visited with deBeer's Tom Ryan only days ago at the E-Lacrosse Offices to review the entire 2001-02 deBeer product line-up. Well have a full review soon! The trakker pocket is a one piece pocket that requires only the installation of sidewalls and shooters by the player. Its like a traditional pocket (better really) that installs and adjusts like a mesh. The women's version is out now and the Men's will be out this week for the Phantom and the new deBeer Wizard which we've been slinging around the cage for a week now. Very nice! The pictures below are the Womens version which comes standard on the fabulously popular deBeer Apex women's stick. We'd explain how it's put together but the pictures are pretty clear. The "leather" is micro-fiber backed synthetic leather that don't ever stretch, even when wet!



When will you be having your next dye contest? Is there a limit on how many sticks I can enter? - Brandon
WHY NOT START ONE RIGHT NOW? E-Lacrosse will award a pair of E-Lacrosse Ignitor Gloves and another Gary Gait strung and signed STX Octane from the first ten out of the mold. We have only 3 left! On June 15, 2002 we will choose the very best dye job submitted and showcase the stick and it's designer right here on E-Lacrosse! Entries should include:
  • picture of the head in its pre dyed but prepared state (with stickers, glue or whatever)
  • picture(s) of the completed head for judging
  • description of how you did it, your concept and what you call the dye

Send your entries to john@tonabricks.com

The contest is for individual stringers and not for Lacrosse stores and kids who just buy a head at a store already dyed. Start now. Be careful.

And Brandon, send as many entries as you like. GOOD LUCK TO ALL!

We dyed a Brine Cyber stick and it came out great. The bad news is that recently (after playing 3 months) the sidewall cracked. Brine stated that dyeing voids the warranty and they said in an email that dyeing a stick significantly reduces the strength in the plastic. Have you heard this as well?
We don't think dying always significantly reduces the strength, but it can in extreme cases. But all the manufacturers have the same policy. They spend loads of time and expense to make heads that are light while still being strong in all reasonable lacrosse related circumstances, so any slight change to that formula should release them from liability to replace the product. The trick is to keep your ears open to hear which sticks are strong enough to dye, or bake for that matter, with no risk. We don't keep figures on this, but we get e-mail about broken heads that were dyed all the time and they seem to be pretty well spread out among the brands.

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!