Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rules Question: Do you throw the ball in bounds like in Basketball?

Question: Robert wants to you walk the ball in bounds? or do you have to throw it in like in Basketball?


Hey Robert. You walk the ball in bounds.

The player steps on the field. The defensive players must be no closer than five yards prior to the ref blowing the whistle. Once the ref blows the whistle the play is live.

Hope that helps!

Jonathan -

Leather? or Mesh? Best Pocket for the Northwest?

Question: I am going to put a pita pocket on my new head and was wondering the benefits and downsides between leather and mesh. I live on the west side of Washington so we get all kinds of weather. Also concerning the pocket I would string it with the ball already in so the pocket would already be made when I am done stringing it. Also should I go with a different style of pocket I play attack 5'10" 145 pounds

Sean if you are anywhere in the Northwest I would recommend mesh. And this is coming from a guy who, when I was younger, strung all my sticks with leather. I grew up in the northeast where we had snow in the early spring and rain a fair bit in the season. The leather shrinks a ton and then gets really brittle. You'll need to have a couple of sticks on the go so that you can keep the pockets consistent.

Guys will sometimes argue that leather is more accurate. I don't believe it anymore. I did at one time. But having spent a ton of time in Canada with guys who can rocket the ball with great accuracy I've seen how well mesh can work. The biggest benefit of mesh that I've seen is that once you've got the pocket broken in once it has gotten wet, you've got a pretty consistent pocket from their on out. It may droop or "bag" out in the rain, but if you've got some slack in your sidewalls you can usually remedy that with a couple of moves on the sideline between plays or after warm up.

Even though you are strining the pocket with the ball in it, that will change. Your leathers are going to stretch at one rate, and the lacing will stretch at another. You may find that the leather puckers in between the lacing. So even though you've strung it around the ball it's going to be a bit on the shallow side once it shrinks, and it will stretch prior to that.

To be honest, I would go with a small diamond mesh "shooters" pocket for attack. There used to be a great article at but I can't seem to find it. The pocket in that stick is lower to the throat so you can keep the stick verticle and keep it protected by your head when you dodge, but you can rifle a pass or a shot with very little wind up. Most coaches in the know will recommend you go with that sort of pocket.

Hope that helps Sean. Let me know what you decide. By the way, learning how to string a stick is a really valuable skill. You can make $40 a head for all the guys on your team. It's a nice little side business.

Jonathan -

Never Played. Should I Try And Play In College?

Question: Hey Jonathan,

I am currently attending a community college. Lately, I have been watching college lacrosse and have been thinking about beginning to play lacrosse. I am 19,6'1,175lbs, and run a 4.6 40yard dash. I am about to transfer to Blinn community college(College Station, Texas) in the fall 2009. Then after a year transfer to Texas A&M. During this time I was planning on maybe trying to learn and play lacrosse. Then later on when I attend Texas A&M, to try and play on the lacrosse team. Is it too late for me to start and try to pursue this?

Answer: It's never too late to play. Seriously.

My buddy from high school played baseball and then picked up a lacrosse stick his freshman year at Bates in Maine. He played four years there.

Dom Starsia, the head coach at the University of Virginia never played before attending Brown. Four years later he was an all-american defenseman. It's never too late.

I like your plan. The thing that will hold you back will be your stick skills but you can start working on them right now. Get a good stick with a good pocket and start throwing. You need a wall, and a ball. That's it. If you've got buddies who play go play with them. And shoot. A lot.

As a coach I can find a way to work with you if you've got that speed. I might put you on a midfield line that plays defense mostly. I know you can keep up with anyone. You've got great height as a defender. And I know if you pick up a loose ball you can probably out run everyone to the offensive end where you can dish it to the attack and run off. Once your stick skills are up to par you can be an offensive threat too.

Don't pick up a defensive stick yet. People might tell you to do that but I wouldn't suggest it. Master the short stick and get your skills up and you can play defense later. You're also a big target to have on attack so get those stick skills going and you're a threat all over.

Stay in touch and let me know how things go. Sign up for our newsletter at and keep me posted.

All the best,


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

D1 and D3 Lacrosse Schools?

I have a young high school freshman who loves his LAX. I like to think he is a fantastic player, but I'm his father so I may not be the best objective judge of his play!

We live in Colorado, and I'm trying to compile a list of Div I and Div II college LAX schools (even Div III). So far I have been unable to pinpoint a complete source.

Ultimately I want him to be happy and want to help guide his decisions as he moves through high school and prepares for college. But doing that means helping him get the education in a field he loves (outside of LAX). Education comes first, but if lacrosse and education can be molded together, that would be the best solution.

A list of these schools would go along way to help us match and balance academics with sports.


Answer:Ken I would check out the site. There you can find a complete list of all schools competing. Also, if it's no longer there you can go to the site to see it as well.

You may also want to consider the USILA which is a listing of schools that play on the club level. Don't take club to mean "bad" these are schools like BYU, Michigan, UC Santa Barbara, Texas and others. Most of these schools have serious programs with players good enough to play D1 etc. It's a great option for kids who want to play lacrosse but also get a great education.

I just want to add that education is what your son makes of it. He can be at the crappiest school in the country and learn a ton. So just make sure he focuses on that as well. It's going to be what he makes of it.

Let me know if I can help you with anything else.

Lacrosse Gloves for a Five Year Old

My 5 yr old grandson will be playing lacrosse this spring and the gloves provided by the team are way too big. Do you know where we might purchase gloves for a small child?

Brenda my best resource for that is in Massachusetts. They are a retailer and carry every brand of glove. They will be able to tell you in a heartbeat.