Importance of Proper Stringing for Optimal Performance
For any lacrosse player, a properly strung stick is absolutely essential. The stringing pattern and tension can make all the difference in ball control, shooting, passing, and scooping. This is especially true for women’s lacrosse players, who rely heavily on their sticks to possess and move the ball down the field.
When stringing a women’s lacrosse stick, attention to detail is key. The shape and depth of the pocket, the spacing of the sidewall strings, the tension on the shooting strings – every aspect affects how the ball sits in the head and how it releases. A sloppy stringing job leads to decreased handling and inaccurate passing and shooting. But a well-strung pocket allows a player precise control and fluid movement with the ball.
So what are the must-have components for stringing the perfect women’s lacrosse stick? The essentials include quality mesh, sturdy nylon sidewall string, shooting strings, a needle nose pliers, and leather gloves. With these stringing kit basics, players can restring sticks to their exact playing preferences.
Choosing the Right Mesh
The mesh is the flexible woven netting that forms the base of the pocket. Mesh comes in different materials, hole shapes, and stiffness levels. Hard meshes have tightly woven rigid polyethylene strands, while soft meshes are more flexible nylon blends. For women’s sticks, soft mesh is preferred for better ball feel and hold on cradles.
Traditional stringing uses mesh with diamond-shaped holes, but newer mesh innovations like StringKing Type 3s feature triangular or hexagonal holes for consistent pocket channel width. Diamond mesh can bunch up while triangular mesh lies flatter. Testing different meshes to find the right combination of hold and release is key.
Getting the Sidewall Strings Right
Women’s sticks have closed sidewalls, so nylon sidewall strings thread up and down to create the structure of the pocket. These interwoven strings must be pulled to the same tension – not too loose or the pocket gets sloppy, but not too tight or the shape gets distorted. The knotted loops should align cleanly so the ball stays centered in the head.
Double knotting the sidewall strings instead of single knots keeps the pattern tighter. Some players even glue the knots for extra security. The spacing between the sidewall strings also affects pocket shape. Wider spacing creates deeper pockets while tighter spacing gives more control.
Tuning the Shooting Strings
Shooting strings cross horizontally along the top of the pocket to provide tension for ball release. Most women’s sticks have V-shaped shooting strings anchored at the sidewalls. This gives consistent hold across the entire ball, improving the accuracy of passes and shots.
Some players use a U-shape or straight across shooting string pattern instead. The shooting strings’ height placement also impacts ball release. Lower strings sit deeper in the pocket for more whip, while higher strings give a quicker release. Testing different shooting string shapes and heights is critical.
Personalizing with Custom Lacings
Once the essential stringing is complete, many players add custom lacings for style and improved hold. These decorative thongs interweave with the sidewall strings and shooting strings. Different color combinations look unique while also gripping the ball better on cradles.
Common lacing styles are tribal designs, zig-zags, alternating colors, and special insignias. Get creative with lacing patterns to make your stick stand out!
Stringing for Specific Positions
Women’s lacrosse requires different stringing preferences for each position. Attack players like very whippy pockets that cradle smoothly and retain the ball. Defenders need quick ball release for outlet passes, so lower pocket depth is ideal.
Midfield pockets balance hold and release as middies both handle the ball and pass downfield often. Goalies also need sticks with stiff pockets to scoop ground balls reliably. Consider stringing specifics for your position.
Withstand the Elements
Women’s lacrosse is played in all weather conditions, so stringing must stand up to rain, humidity, and heat. Choose shooting and sidewall strings made of weatherproof nylon rather than cotton. This maintains proper pocket shape and tension despite the elements.
Pre-stretched mesh also handles moisture better than traditional unstretched mesh. Focus on durable stringing materials that won’t bag out when wet.
Achieve Precise Specs
Women’s lacrosse has strict pocket dimension regulations to follow. The ball must move freely within the head both laterally and along its full length. Pockets cannot be too deep or too narrow.
Using a mesh with consistent diamond spacing, knotting the sidewalls tightly, and anchoring shooting strings at regulation heights will achieve legal pocket specs. Test pocket dimensions thoroughly before game use.
With attention to detail and the right stringing kit components, women’s lacrosse players can achieve the perfect pocket hold, release, and ball control for clutch performances on the field. Don’t settle for an off-the-shelf pocket – string your stick exactly how you want it for optimal play.
For any lacrosse player, having the right stringing kit is crucial for optimizing your stick’s performance. Women’s lacrosse heads have unique stringing requirements compared to men’s sticks, so you need tools designed specifically for the women’s game. With the right gear, you can customize your pocket to suit your playing style and up your game this season.
Key Stringing Tools: Needle Nose Pliers and Leather Gloves
The foundation of any solid women’s lacrosse stringing kit begins with two essential tools: needle nose pliers and leather gloves. While you can technically string a stick without pliers, they make the process infinitely easier by helping grip and pull stiff mesh and string through tight spots. Look for pliers with serrated jaws to really grab material without slipping. Leather gloves also help get a grip on string and protect your hands from blisters during lengthy stringing sessions.
While fancy tools can help streamline stringing, pliers and gloves are true basics that no kit should be without. Invest in high-quality versions of both and keep them close by when stringing up a new pocket.
Top Stringing Tools and Accessories
Once you’ve got pliers and gloves covered, here are 15 additional must-have stringing tools and accessories for crafting the perfect women’s lacrosse pocket:
- Stringing jig – A jig holds the head in place and at the right angle for easier stringing. Models like the ECD Jig 2.0 offer a rotating clamp to access all sides.
- Mesh strips – Pre-cut pieces of soft mesh in different widths like Stringking 2F are a popular stringing material.
- Shooting strings – Durable nylon shooting strings like Jimalax Shooters allow precise stringing along the scoop.
- Sidewall string – Artificial sinew or nylon sidewall effectively strings the sidewalls of a lacrosse head.
- Lacrosse scissors – Sharp scissors like the Stringking mongoose help cut string and mesh cleanly.
- Lighter – Use a lighter to quickly singe and seal cut string ends.
- Ruler – Measure mesh and pockets precisely.
- Marker – Mark measurement points directly on sticks.
- Awl – The pointed tip on a lacrosse awl helps pull strings through tight holes.
- Leather conditioner – Condition leather gloves to prevent cracking over time.
- Sandpaper – Lightly sand down rough spots on shafts before stringing.
- Screwdriver – Tighten or adjust screws on heads during stringing.
- Utility knife – Quickly cut strings, mesh, and tape as needed.
- Nail clippers – Trim excess string ends left after tying off interlocks and knots.
- Lacrosse ball – Place in pocket and shake to help seat and break in new stringing.
While advanced stringers may have more specialized tools, these basic accessories cover the fundamental needs for stringing a women’s stick. Keep them organized in a small tool bag or box for easy portability to the field or anywhere you need to string.
Types of Mesh, Strings, and Laces
In addition to essential stringing tools, stock up on different types of mesh, strings, and laces to allow full customization of your pockets. Here are some top options:
- Waxed mesh – Coated for extra durability and water resistance. Popular versions include Throne Mesh and Stringking Type 3X.
- Soft mesh – Adds flexibility and comfort to pockets. Stringking Type 3F is a top choice.
- Hard mesh – Stiff mesh maintains shape better but needs breaking in. Try ECD Bravo.
- Nylon/polyester laces – All-purpose lacing strings to tie the diamond pattern. Stringking 1mm works well.
- Fluorocarbon laces – Low stretch and extra stiffness for holding knots tighter.
- Sidewall string – Artificial sinew sidewalls by Jimalax and others reduce restringing needs.
- Leather laces – Add leather shooter laces for increased ball control and feel.
- Multi-color lace packs – Fun colors for personalizing pocket styles.
Testing out different string and mesh types is the key to discovering your ideal pocket. Invest in a variety of materials so you can constantly tweak and experiment until you master your stringing style.
Pocket Patterns and Stringing Techniques
While specific stringing methods come down to personal preference, there are some basic pocket patterns that work well for most women’s sticks:
- The classic diagonal topstring – This crisscrossed pattern evenly pulls the top of the head for consistent pocket depth.
- Double interlocks – Interlocking the sidewall knots twice instead of once adds extra security and prevents slipping.
- Five diamond midfield pocket – This mid-depth pocket with five diamonds suits all-around midfielders.
- Six diamond attack pocket – A slightly deeper pocket with six diamonds maintains ball control for attackers.
- The V-shooter – Crossing two shooters in a V-shape increases accuracy and ball speed.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and put your own twist on patterns—half diamonds, stacking, and other advanced techniques can take your stringing to the next level. Having a well-stocked kit makes it easy to test out new styles.
Perfect Your Pocket with the Right Stringing Tools
Serious women’s lacrosse players know that finding your ideal pocket requires top-notch stringing tools and accessories. Arm yourself with needle nose pliers, quality mesh and sidewall strings, and other essentials so you can continually tweak and experiment until you master the perfect pocket. With the must-haves covered, you’ll have the confidence and control needed to excel this season.
When stringing up a new women’s lacrosse head, one of the most important decisions is choosing your mesh. The type of mesh affects the overall feel and performance of the pocket. Hard vs. soft mesh, traditional vs. diamond mesh – there are pros and cons to each option for women’s sticks.
Choosing the Right Mesh: Hard vs. Soft, Diamond vs. Traditional
Women’s lacrosse meshes generally fall into two main categories: soft or hard. Soft mesh is made from more flexible nylon or polyethylene cords and has some “give” when strung. Hard mesh uses stiffer material with less stretch. This stability allows hard mesh pockets to hold their shape better over time.
Soft mesh, however, provides a softer feel when cradling and passing. The flexible cords move with the ball better and absorb some impact too. Soft mesh also pockets easier and requires less break-in time. Startups like Stringking have engineered proprietary soft meshes designed specifically for optimizing women’s lacrosse pocket performance.
In addition to soft vs. hard decision, traditional stringing with stacked diamonds offers a different feel compared to athletic pre-woven diamond mesh. Traditional stringing allows more customization of the diamond sizes throughout the head. Diamond mesh has a uniform look, but may lack some adjustability.
Here is an overview of some top mesh types for women’s sticks:
- Stringking Type 3F – The softest women’s mesh for maximum flexibility. Ideal for beginner and intermediate players looking for an easy, consistent pocket.
- Stringking Type 3X – A soft coated mesh treated for durability and water resistance. Provides a soft feel with added longevity.
- Throne Mesh – Waxed polyethylene soft mesh designed for quick breaks-in. Ideal for players wanting a mesh that molds faster to their game.
- Hero Mesh – This pre-stretched nylon soft mesh forms pockets with minimal effort. Great for beginners or experienced stringers alike.
- ECD Bravo – One of the stiffest meshes available. Holds shape extremely well but requires significant break-in time.
- Stringking Type 4F – Hard grade nylon mesh engineered for optimum ball control and consistency once broken-in.
- Jimalax Money Mesh – A very stiff yet light monofilament mesh. Excellent shape retention with minimal bagginess over time.
- Stringking Type S – This polyethylene based mesh provides stiffness without being overly rigid. Easier break-in than most hard meshes.
Traditional Cotton Laces
- Stringking 1mm – Premium nylon laces for consistent diamonds. Available in a ton of colors.
- Viper Lacrosse 1mm – Tough multicord nylon laces for durability. Great value for traditional stringing.
- Jimalax Shooter Lace – Waxed cotton laces shape and tension pockets consistently.
- East Coast Mesh Double Threat – Two-tone paracord shooter laces add style and control when stringing.
Pre-woven Diamond Mesh
- Stringking 2F – Softer pre-woven diamonds for consistent pocket feel and ball control.
- Stringking 2X – Coated version of 2F for durability and water resistance. A great all-weather diamond mesh.
- ECM Performance Mesh – Poly material forms uniform diamonds. Quick break-in time.
- Champion Sports LAX Mesh – An affordable and versatile diamond mesh option.
While mesh preference varies by player, most women’s lacrosse pockets use a soft nylon or polyethylene base mesh for the main diamonds. Adding stiff shooting strings helps maintain pocket shape too. Testing out different meshes and combinations is key to discovering your ideal set-up.
Key Tips for Stringing Pockets with Women’s Mesh
Here are some top tips for stringing great women’s pockets with both soft and hard meshes:
- Soak mesh in warm water before stringing to increase pliability.
- Pull meshes tight but be careful not to overstretch – soft mesh can deform permanently.
- Use a pocket pounder mallet to soften stiff mesh and speed up break-in time.
- Let hard mesh pockets sit strung for a few days before using to help them set.
- Consider combining soft and hard meshes – soft for diamonds, hard for shooters.
- Use mesh strips instead of full rolls to make pieces easier to work with.
- Waxed laces add consistency, but wax can attract dirt – clean and re-wax occasionally.
While mesh selection is critical, proper stringing technique ensures it reaches its full potential. Mastering the basics and following mesh best practices will have you stringing truly optimized women’s pockets in no time.
When organizing the strings and meshes in a women’s lacrosse head, the overall pocket shape and depth are critical factors. Choosing stringing patterns that produce your desired pocket performance is an art of precision and customization. Let’s walk through some of the top stringing techniques for crafting pockets with excellent ball control and release.
Stringing Patterns: Focus on the Pocket Shape and Depth
Women’s lacrosse rules dictate that the top of the ball must sit above the sidewalls when placed in a horizontal stick. However, within the boundaries of the rules, players have ample room for personal preference. Midfielders often like a mid-level pocket for all-around control. Attack players may prefer a slightly deeper pocket with extra hold. Finding your “sweet spot” pocket depth starts with the stringing.
Pocket shape also varies by player style and preference. Wider horizontal pockets help cradle from all angles. A more diamond-focused vertical pocket provides added ball control. Hybrid shapes offer benefits of both. Your stringing technique controls the final look.
Here are some top stringing methods for achieving excellent pocket performance in women’s lacrosse heads:
A tight crisscross or interwoven top string evens out tension across the entire top of the head. This creates consistent pocket depth across the scoop area.
- Use 1-2 narrrow nylon shooting strings in an X, box, or woven pattern.
- Pull evenly without overtensioning mesh.
- Anchor top string ends well with double knots.
Sidewall string gives pockets structure and stability. Traditional catgut provides great hold but frequent restringing. Synthetic materials offer more durability.
- Use high-quality synthetic sinew like Jimalax for minimal restringing.
- Double up sidewall string holes for extra hold.
- Tie off ends carefully – sidewalls take abuse during play.
Shooters control ball speed, accuracy, and release. A centered double V-shooter provides optimal control for most players.
- Use thick cord like braided nylon to resist bagging.
- Angle V-shooters based on preferred release – higher for faster, lower for more hold.
- Space multiple shooting strings evenly down the head.
The diamond pattern largely defines overall pocket shape. Wider diamonds expand cradling area. Tighter diamonds increase ball control.
- Match diamond size to playing style – wider for midfield, tighter for attack.
- Use four-way knot interlocks to prevent slipping.
- Hand tension and settle diamonds as you string.
Proper overall pocket placement enhances control. Be sure mesh diamonds and sidewall knots are centered.
- Tension mesh and sidewalls symmetrically.
- Avoid angled pockets by pulling knots and diamonds evenly.
- Inspect pocket regularly when stringing to ensure centralized placement.
Tips for Adjusting Women’s Pockets Post-Stringing
The exact pocket feel becomes clear once you begin using a newly strung stick in practice. Here are some ways to tweak pockets afterwards to achieve your ideal shape and performance:
- Use a pocket pounder or ball to increase pocket depth.
- Add or remove diamonds to adjust pocket width as needed.
- Re-tension specific shooting strings to direct release.
- Loosen sidewall knots to drop overall pocket depth a bit.
- Shift knot positions to center or angle pockets.
Don’t be afraid to redo strings that don’t give you the exact feel you want. Keep tweaking until the pocket functions precisely how you like it. With the right patterns and adjustments, you’ll have women’s lacrosse pockets dialed in no time.
A lacrosse stick’s shooting strings are key for providing the right amount of control and whip when passing and shooting. For women’s lacrosse heads, the most common shooting string styles are the V, the U, and the straight shooter setup.
Getting the Shooting Strings Right: V-Shapes, U-Shapes or Straight
Shooting strings traverse horizontally along the throat of the head. They work together with the sidewall strings and mesh diamonds to form the overall pocket shape and performance. For women’s sticks, a centered double V-shooter is a popular default stringing method. However, some players may prefer the feel of U-shapes or straight shooters instead.
The Centered Double V-Shooter
As the name implies, a double V-shooter uses two separate shooting strings tied in a crisp V shape. Having two centered Vs instead of one adds stability for improved accuracy. The crossing point of the Vs focuses the release point for excellent ball control.
The angle of the Vs can be adjusted to fine-tune release. Wider Vs add whip, while more narrow Vs focus the channel. Centered double Vs provide an excellent blend of hold, quick release, and precision for most women’s lacrosse players.
The U-Shooter Setup
Some players prefer eliminating the pointed crossover of a V-shooter in favor of a smooth U-shape. This rounded look focuses tension across a wider horizontal area instead of a single point. It provides a smoother release with less friction on the ball.
The U-shooter will have slightly less defined release direction than a V. However, the continuous shape can make it easier to achieve even stringing tension across the head. For midfielders who favor smooth, quick releases from all angles, the U is an excellent option.
Straight Shooting Strings
For the most clean, open setup, a single straight shooting string can work well. Without any Vs or Us, the straight shape simply runs horizontal from sidewall to sidewall.
This uncomplicated style puts all tension directly on the sidewalls. It allows for increased whip on shots and passes but gives up some control compared to shaped setups. Straight shooters complement wider, deeper pocket styles nicely for players who emphasize power.
Tips for Tuning Women’s Lacrosse Shooting Strings
While the overall shooting string style comes down to preference, you can fine-tune performance with proper installation. Here are some tips for dialing in your shooting strings:
- Choose a stiff, durable shooting string material like blended nylon to resist bagging.
- Set shooting strings high in the throat for quick release, lower for more hold.
- Angle Vs based on desired release – wider for more whip, narrower for control.
- U-shapes should have an even arch and smooth walls without kinks.
- Pull tension firmly but avoid overstretching – shooting strings take a beating.
- Use a backup knot and dab of superglue when tying off ends.
It’s worth trying out different shooting string shapes to experience the nuances firsthand. V, U, straight, or a hybrid – with the right installation, you can get any style shooting crisply and functioning flawlessly.
Complete the Package
Dialing in the shooting strings is the final step in stringing up a new women’s lacrosse pocket. With the diamonds, sidewalls, and shooting strings all working harmoniously together, you’ll have a pocket that looks great, feels great, and performs incredibly out on the field.
The sidewall strings on a lacrosse head play a vital role in overall pocket performance. Proper sidewall string tension optimizes the balance between hold and quick release. For women’s sticks, the key is finding the right amount of sidewall tension to suit your playing style.
Sidewall String Tension: Balance Between Hold and Release
Sidewall strings run vertically along the sides of a lacrosse head, essentially forming the “walls” of the pocket area. They interlock with the horizontal shooting strings and diagonal mesh diamonds to create the overall pocket shape. Tighter sidewall tension pulls the pocket inward for added ball control, while looser tension expands the pocket for quicker release.
For women’s lacrosse, the rules mandate that the ball must sit above the sidewalls when at rest. This puts some limits on just how tight the sidewalls can be strung. However, there is still ample room for customizing tension within the boundaries of the rules.
Tighter Sidewalls for Control
Cranking up sidewall string tension focuses the pocket width and helps grab onto the ball in the pocket area. This extra hold is especially beneficial for attackers and scorers who favor control over quick passing and shots.
Going for a tighter sidewall setup takes some precision. Pull the knots snugly without overtensioning the strings or diamonds. Keep the pocket placement centered while gradually increasing tension. Stop tightening once the ball sits just above the plastic.
Looser Sidewalls for Faster Release
On the other hand, looser sidewall tension expands the pocket width and positions the ball deeper into the mesh. This decreased tension reduces friction for lightning-quick release checks, feeds, and shots.
When going for a looser sidewall setup, start from a balanced tension and gradually loosen knots little by little. Maintain symmetry and recheck pocket placement frequently as you loosen. Stop once the ball sits comfortably in the lower pocket area but still above the plastic.
Best Practices for Sidewall Tensioning
Whether going for max control or optimized release, keep these sidewall stringing tips in mind:
- Use strong synthetic material like dyneema to minimize restringing needs.
- Always double up the sidewall string holes for extra durability.
- Pull knots snugly but avoid overtensioning to protect string life.
- Increase tension gradually using only 1-2 additional finger pulls each time.
- Check pocket placement frequently and adjust knots to keep symmetry.
- Let new sidewalls settle overnight before final tuning.
With the right techniques and careful tension balancing, you can easily customize sidewalls for your ideal hold and quick release needs.
Tune Sidewalls Regularly
Keep in mind that sidewall tension will evolve over time through string wear and pocket break-in. Plan to periodically check and tune tension a few weeks into the life of a new pocket.
If the sidewalls bag out sooner than expected, consider using a stiffer mesh material next time around. With the proper initial install and ongoing tuning, your sidewalls will keep pockets performing sweetly season after season.
The top string on a lacrosse head controls overall pocket depth and shape. For women’s sticks, proper top string positioning is vital for achieving accurate, consistent throws and shots from high pockets.
Top String Positioning for Accurate High Pockets
Women’s lacrosse rules mandate that the top of the ball must sit above the sidewall when at rest in a horizontally positioned stick. Pockets strung right up near this limit are known as high pockets. The tradeoff is extra hold for a bit less handling and control.
While deeper pockets sacrifice some fluid cradling, precision top stringing can still yield excellent passing and shooting from a high pocket. The key is careful attention to top string placement.
Starting Top String Placement
Most women’s sticks come pre-strung from the factory with a basic mid-level pocket. This provides a balanced starting point before custom stringing.
When looking to create a higher pocket, use the factory pre-string as a guide. Begin the new top string just 1-2 holes down from the original to start extending pocket depth.
Centering the Top String
As you tighten and interweave the new top string, pay close attention to keeping it centered across the head. An off-kilter angled top string will lead to inconsistent pocket performance on each side.
Maintain symmetry by pulling each side with equal tension as you create crisscrosses or boxes. Step back periodically to check head-on for a straight, centered layout.
Gradually Increasing Depth
Once the top string is started and centered, begin gradually dropping stitches down hole by hole. After each new row, remake the crisscross or woven pattern before tensioning again.
Make small incremental adjustments of just 1-2 holes at a time. Keep checking centering and stopping to settle the mesh fully. Too much tension too quickly can overstretch pockets.
Tuning Established High Pockets
In addition to stringing new high pockets, you may also need to tune and tweak pre-existing ones. Here are some top techniques:
- Add a new topstring row below the original to drop overall pocket depth.
- Loosen specific top string holes to remedy off-center sagging.
- Tighten corners or edges to raise lower sides back into alignment.
- Reset the entire top string if symmetry is way off.
With careful construction and tweaking, high pocket women’s sticks can throw crisp, accurate passes and deliver pinpoint shots. Precise top string positioning makes it possible to max out pocket depth while maintaining control.
Creating secure, durable knots is one of the fundamentals of solid pocket stringing. For women’s lacrosse sidewalls, the two main knotting approaches are interlocks and double knots. Each method has pros and cons to consider when stringing up women’s sticks.
Sidewall Knotting Methods: Interlocks vs. Double Knots
Women’s lacrosse sidewalls take a beating from constant checks, passes, and ground balls. Using a knotting technique that ties knots tightly and keeps them secured is crucial. Interlocks and double knots represent two common ways to tie off sturdy women’s lacrosse sidewalls.
An interlocking knot pattern is created by threading sidewall string through mesh diamonds in sequence. The string loops through each diamond and interlocks each knot with the previous one by pulling tight.
Pros of interlocks:
- Very tight knots when pulled snugly
- Knots can’t loosen or slip
- Creates linked, integrated sidewall structure
Cons of interlocks:
- Time consuming to string initially
- Replacing a broken string requires redoing entire side
- Not adjustable once initially tensioned
Double knot sidewalls use a simple overhand knot tied twice at each hole. While not interconnected, each knot is secured independently by the double tie off.
Pros of double knots:
- Faster and easier to string initially
- Can replace broken strings easily
- Allows tension adjustment along the side
Cons of double knots:
- Knots can loosen and shift over time if not done carefully
- Does not create an integrated wall like interlocks
- Usually requires more restringing maintenance
Choosing the Best Women’s Sidewall Knotting Method
Interlock knots ultimately form the most solid women’s sidewall foundation. However, double knots offer more convenience for players who need to adjust pockets frequently. Either method can work well with proper technique.
For most players, interlocks are worth the extra effort up front. Be sure to pull knots very snugly without overtensioning. Leave no gaps when progressing down the head. With careful attention, interlocks will outlast any other knotting style.
Double knots can also be effective if properly executed. Tie slow and meticulously, really cinching down overhands before repeating. Check knots routinely for shifting and retie as needed. Though not quite as durable, double knots are great for quick string jobs and adjustments.
With the right knotting know-how, you can easily build women’s lacrosse sidewalls that stand up to the demands of the game while retaining tuneability. Whether opting for integrated interlocks or more adjustable double knots, mastering sidewall knot fundamentals is a must for any stringer.
While performance and playability remain top priorities, adding personalized style to women’s lacrosse pockets has become hugely popular. Custom lacing designs using leather, nylon, string, and other materials let players make pockets uniquely their own.
Adding Custom Lacings for Personalized Style
With the rise of decorative pocket stringing, women’s lacrosse sticks have become so much more than just practical pieces of sporting equipment. Custom lacing designs allow self-expression and creativity on the field.
From pro players to youth athletes, every stringer can benefit from infusing pockets with a touch of unique style. But while looks are important, performance impact must also be considered with any accessories.
Creative Materials to Use
Leather lacings are very popular for adding flair while also providing durability and improved feel. Some creative options include:
- Leather shooter laces – Kangaroo, deer, cowhide, astro, grain leather
- Suede and microfiber laces
- Colored wax cotton and nylon laces
- Textured rope and paracord
- Sparkle and metallic laces
- Custom name or number lacings
Where to Strategically Place Lacings
To make lacings really pop, focus on key accent areas like:
- Shooter and top strings
- Sidewall ends near scoop
- Around first diamond row
- Cross-sections on off-center diamonds
- Bottom and lower sidewalls
Integrate just a few small custom sections to highlight pocket shape without overdoing it.
Installation Tips and Tricks
When weaving in custom lacings, keep these pointers in mind:
- Match lacing and string tension to avoid sagging
- Consider stability – leather holds knots better than nylon
- Pre-stretch leather lightly before stringing
- Crisscross or angle laces around diamonds for visibility
- Spot-glue lacing ends with clear drying gel
Personalize Without Sacrificing Performance
The core principles of high-functioning stringing still apply when adding swag to pockets. Solid base stringing provides the framework to strategically infuse lacings for style.
Let custom leather, nylon, string, or other accents enhance your pocket style without hampering overall playability. With the right complementary materials in the right places, you can have personalized pockets that perform as great as they look.
Women’s lacrosse pockets can be customized to match the style and needs of specific positions. While general best practices apply across the board, attack, midfield, and defense each prioritize different pocket elements.
Stringing for Different Player Positions: Attack, Midfield, Defense
Women’s lacrosse field positions call for specialized equipment. Just as cleat styles, protective gear, and stick lengths vary by position, optimal pocket stringing can also differ.
Attack players want maximum ball control. Midfielders need fluid transition play. Defenders prioritize checking disruptions. Tailoring pocket stringing to position enhances overall performance.
Attack Pocket Stringing
For attackers around the crease, pocket control and retention are vital. Attack pockets often feature:
- Deeper pocket placement with 6+ diamonds
- Tight sidewall stringing for ball control
- Low V shooting strings to hold passes and cradle
- Stiffer mesh or heavy double lace diamonds
- Angled top string or narrow diamond widths
Midfield Pocket Stringing
In transition, midfield pockets emphasize smooth handling and quick release. Common midfield setups include:
- Mid-depth 4-5 diamond pockets
- Medium sidewall tension for balance of hold/release
- Wider diamonds for expanded cradling area
- Soft mesh for flexibility and feel
- Center-placed U or straight shooters
Defense Pocket Stringing
Defense relies on disruptive checks requiring pockets that protect ball control. Typical defensive stringing:
- Shallower pocket depth
- Stiff mesh or heavy double lace diamonds
- Extra top string knots or double top string
- High sidewall tension for added security on checks
- V shooting strings for consistency during contact
While personal style always factors in, optimizing pocket stringing by women’s lacrosse positions gives players an added edge.
Dealing with the elements is part of competing in outdoor sports like lacrosse. Rain, humidity, and extreme heat can wreak havoc on pocket shapes. Using weatherproof strings and materials when stringing women’s sticks helps maintain prime performance in all conditions.
Weatherproof Strings: Maintain Pocket Shape in Rain or Heat
Women’s lacrosse pockets crafted from traditional materials like cotton and nylon can become misshapen in wet weather. Precipitation causes strings to slacken and pockets to bag. On hot sunny days, heat can also impact integrity over time.
Thankfully, applying special coatings to certain strings makes them virtually weatherproof. Waxed and coated options provide extra weather resistance without sacrificing the key attributes of different string types.
Waxed Mesh and Laces
Wax coatings applied to shooting laces and softer mesh styles provide excellent water resistance. The wax inhibits moisture absorption to retain shape. Popular waxed strings include:
- Stringking Type 3X Waxed Mesh
- Jimalax Money Mesh
- Throne Mesh
- Waxed cotton laces
The wax does require occasional reapplication to maintain effectiveness. But the water repellency and pocket stability is well worth the extra effort.
Coated Mesh and Strings
Specialized polymer and nylon coatings also repel moisture well. Coated options like these hold up to wetness:
- Stringking Type 4X
- ECD Rebel Offense Mesh
- Coated sidewall strings
- Multicolor coated shooter laces
The coatings reduce water logging without diminishing key attributes of the underlying material. Coated strings maintain excellent shape and tension even in soggy conditions.
Keep Strings Dry For Best Durability
When not in use, be sure to keep sticks in a dry area instead of sitting wet on the sidelines between rains. Allow pockets to fully air dry before packing sticks away after games or practices.
While coated and waxed strings enhance weather resistance, reducing overall moisture exposure will keep any pocket performing at its best for longer. With the right weatherproof materials and proper care, you can dominate the game in any forecast.
When selecting mesh for women’s lacrosse pockets, one decision is whether to use pre-stretched mesh or traditional unstretched mesh. Both have their merits depending on playing style preferences and stringing factors.
Pre-Stretched vs. Traditional Lacrosse Mesh: Pros and Cons
Pre-stretched mesh goes through a factory process that mechanically stretches the material prior to spooling. This pre-tensioning allows the diamonds to form easier during stringing without over-pulling. It creates a uniform look with consistent diamonds.
Unstretched traditional mesh starts in a more relaxed state before the stringer tensions it into pocket form. It requires meticulous hand tensioning to shape optimized diamonds across the head.
Each mesh type has certain advantages that make it better suited for particular players and stringing needs.
Benefits of Pre-Stretched Mesh
- Forms uniform diamonds easily
- Less tweaking needed for consistent pocket shape
- Great for beginner stringers due to ease of use
- Holds shape longer through continual use
Downsides of Pre-Stretched Mesh
- Less ability to customize diamond sizes
- Can over-stretch if pulled too tightly
- Less natural feel and flexibility in some cases
- Costs slightly more than unstretched
Pros of Unstretched Traditional Mesh
- Ability to fine-tune tension and diamond sizes
- Natural cotton feel with great stringing control
- Usually costs a bit less than pre-stretched
- Can be tuned and customized more over time
Cons of Unstretched Traditional Mesh
- Harder to consistently tension diamonds across the head
- Requires practice and skill to string initially
- Can lose shape faster without factory stretching
- Not quite as uniform looking out of the box
Ultimately, player preferences should determine traditional vs. pre-stretched mesh selection. Try out both in different string jobs to see which suits your needs and style best.
A key component of optimized women’s lacrosse pockets is proper stringing channel width. The space between sidewalls must be narrowed to fit the ball snugly while still allowing free movement up and down.
Proper Stringing Channel Widths for Snug Ball Fit
Women’s lacrosse balls measure between 7.5-8 inches in circumference on average. Meanwhile, most women’s sticks have throats ranging from 5-6 inches across prior to stringing.
This means the stringing needs to effectively shrink the width by 1.5-2 inches horizontally to cradle and control balls. Careful attention to creating an ideal channel width results in excellent ball retention and handling.
Before stringing, first measure across the rigid upper throat of the head from sidewall to sidewall. This gives you the maximum width dimension to work with.
If the rigid plastic alone is wider than the ball, significant narrowing will need to occur through tight stringing. If already close to the ball width, only minor adjustments will be required.
Pulling Tight Diamonds
The mesh diamond pattern itself directly controls channel width. Pull diamonds very snug from sidewall to sidewall, eliminating any slack.
Tighter diamonds across the center channel yield optimal ball control. Let diamonds relax more toward the scoop for fluidity during carries.
Tensioning the Sidewalls
In addition to diamonds, tight sidewalls are also key for narrowing down stringing channels. Interlocks or double knots must be tensioned fully so sidewalls pull in steadily.
Control channel width by incrementally tightening the knots working from bottom to top. Again, keep the channel very narrow through the lower pocket area for a snug ball fit.
Checking Width and Making Adjustments
After initial stringing, perform several width checks:
- Does ball move freely from side to side when stuck in? If so, more tension needed.
- Is ball held securely when positioned horizontally in the channel? If not, tighten diamonds.
- Can ball transition smoothly into the upper channel when passing or shooting? If no, loosen throat diamonds.
Make slight adjustments and recheck until optimizing the balance of snug fit with free movement. Dialing in custom channel width is vital for peak women’s lacrosse pocket performance.
When stringing up women’s lacrosse sticks, adhering to NCAA guidelines is crucial for keeping pockets legal for organized play. Understanding the official rules for pocket depths, widths, and ball placement ensures your hard work passes inspection.
Check NCAA Regulations for Legal Pocket Dimensions
The NCAA provides specific equipment regulations that all women’s lacrosse players must follow. These rules establish maximum pocket depths and required ball placements to ensure fairness and safety.
While some recreational leagues may be more lax, competitive players must stay within regulations. Closely reference the official NCAA guidelines during the stringing process to avoid violations.
Legal Pocket Depth Limits
The top of the ball must sit above the bottom of the sidewall when placed in a horizontally resting stick. Additionally, the ball must move freely within all parts of the head both laterally and along its full length.
This effectively limits overall pocket depth based on the ball’s diameter. Take measurements during stringing and make adjustments as needed prior to use in competition.
Proper Ball Placement When Strung
In addition to pocket depth rules, the ball must specifically sit within 1 inch of the midline of the head when at rest in a horizontal stick. Ensure even pocket placement during stringing to comply.
Balls sitting more than 1 inch off-center or biased heavily to one side may be flagged during pre-game checks. Take time to center diamonds and sidewalls when tensioning.
Checking for Legal Width
There are no absolute width dimensions provided, only the requirement that the ball sits above the plastic and moves freely across the channel. When stringing, continually test ball movement to ensure unobstructed control.
If you notice the ball catching at any point, loosen the diamonds or sidewalls in that area to open it back up as needed for compliance.
Adjusting Sticks In or Near Violation
If an already strung stick is borderline or slightly non-compliant, try making these corrections:
- Widen diamonds around throat and midsection if ball is sticking.
- Loosen mid and lower sidewalls knots to raise ball in pocket.
- Realign top string or diamonds if ball sits too off-center.
- Remove bottom shooter if restricting ball freedom.
Staying within the lines is fully achievable with close attention to NCAA standards during women’s lacrosse pocket stringing and post-stringing adjustments as needed.
The true test of a pocket’s performance comes when put into game action. While a newly strung women’s stick may look and feel great, making any final tune-ups before first use is vital.
Test Stringing Before Game Time and Make Adjustments
Often, certain adjustments become apparent only when you take new stringing out onto the field and play with it. Testing out pockets prior to important games allows you to refine small details and optimize functionality right when it counts most.
Check Release and Control
The main factors to focus on during pre-game testing are ball release speed/angle and overall control cradling and passing:
- Does the ball come out with the preferred pace and accuracy?
- Does ball stay put during cradling but release cleanly on passes?
- Are one-handed catches possible without dropping?
If the answers are yes, your stringing is likely dialed. If no, adjustments may be needed.
Make Tweaks to Shooting Strings
Shooting strings primarily affect ball release. To fine tune:
- Loosen shooters for more velocity and whip.
- Tighten central diamonds to focus accuracy.
- Lower/angle Vs to hold ball longer before release.
Avoid over-adjusting shooters right before game time – small changes go a long way.
Refine Pocket Tension and Shape
For optimizing overall control:
- Tighten diamonds and sidewalls to deepen pocket slightly.
- Widen diamonds if ball is catching on releases.
- Loosen knots if ball is not fully pocketing on catches.
Relax end sidewalls to ease ball entry to pocket.
Again, resist major modifications at the last minute to avoid new issues.
Break In During Warm Ups
After making any quick gameday tweaks, break the strings in further during warm-ups. Working the ball through the pocket and shooting on the run will help get it game-ready fast.
With strategic pre-game testing and dialing in of women’s lacrosse pockets, you’ll take the field confident your stick is primed for top performance when it matters most.