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,
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.
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.
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:
'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: