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Stick doctor - It might be time for a stick 'check up.'

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This past weekend we were at a girls LAX tourney where the refs told one team that over 90% of their team's sticks violated the most recent update to the US Lacrosse rules. 

What exactly does this mean?

For most players, it LIKELY means one (or both) of two things:

1) you bought a stick, manufactured before September 2015, that has an extra hole drilled along the head that needs to be filled and/or, 

2) you have shooting strings that are not attached directly onto the head.
Good news? A fix is easy...sort of.

If you have to fill an extra hole ONLY, US Lacrosse issued this clarification for the 2016 season which allows players to fill the hole as long as it's not left sticky or provides any advantage as a result:

'...additional holes that have been drilled into the head of a crosse prior to the release of the changes to Appendix B, may be filled with a substance to comply with Appendix B, Section 2. The substance used to fill the holes may not impede the free movement of the ball, may not be added as a sticky/tacky substance to the thongs ...and may not provide any advantage to a team.'

Frankly, filling the holes seems like a hassle - but doable.

Double Whammy.

In our case we had both issues to fix with our example stick.

What we found worked for the 'double whammy' case was a modification to the stringing, which uses the extra hole to tie the bottom shooting strings to the head, thus solving both violations in one step.

 Two issues with our girls lax stick per US Lacrosse rules

We brought our stick to our local lacrosse shop and asked them to help us with the modification.  Here's the before and after, and the detail on what changed:

before and after new girls lacrosse stringing rules 2016

'WHY the fuss?'

For those of you who want to dig deeper, as background, a press release from US Lacrosse in September 2015, (which included many interesting rule modifications to the youth and high school girls game) included modifications to 'stick and pocket guidelines designed to MINIMIZE THE AFTERMARKET CHANGES BEING MADE to sticks and pockets and to assist in determining their legality for play.'

The changes that are impacting your stick were included in Manufacturers Specifications Appendix B as follows:

Section 2: US Lacrosse approved heads may not be altered. Prohibited alterations to heads include, but are not limited to, baking, drilling additional holes, breaking and/or reconstructing with adhesive material, stretching, pinching and shaving.
Section 25: Any shooting string must be directly attached to both sidewalls in the upper third of the head, or, the top shooting string must be directly attached to both sidewalls in the upper third of the head and the bottom shooting string may be an inverted “U” in shape and must be directly attached to both sidewalls in the upper two-thirds of the head, as measured from the top outside edge of the scoop (Diagram 15). Shooting strings may not be crossed. Shootings strings may not touch from outside the outermost thongs to the sidewall.
Want to fix it yourself?
Awesome - huge fan of DIY.  In this video, if you forward to 17:50 the lesson focuses on shooting strings, how to tie them in, how to modify them depending on the feel of your stick, the right (and wrong) placement for shooters, and the importance of tying them properly so refs are happy.
Probably goes without saying that if you are re-stringing your second shooter to fill the hole, you have less flexibility than is shown in the video as to WHERE to start your stringing from.
Special thanks to the team at Lacrosse Unlimited in Ridgewood for letting us take photos of their work and Allison Lee @Stringtheory8 for her video.
Tell your friends to check their sticks too - why?
'Cause you should Listen 2 Yo Momma


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