For people who string heads for teammates or themselves, you know lacrosse shooting strings are a big component of stringing and adjusting the pocket. Depending on your style and preference, shooting strings can be strung widely differently.
Advanced and elite players view shooting strings more as a form of art than science. Based on how you like to string your sidewall holes, the pocket dictates the release, the whip and control of the ball. To give your mesh more gripping and whip when shooting the ball, shooting strings are a must.
Now take a look at your channel, if you have a tight channel you will have less space to lace shooting strings. If you have a wider channel consider adding more shooting strings for gripping and hold. Shooters at the top of the channel are tighter and shooters at the bottom are looser.
With all that said, in this post, we will take a look at the types of shooting strings, the best setup and how to string them on your head. One important thing to keep in mind is that not all shooting string styles work the same so continue to experiment until you find the most comfortable and suitable one.
Read also: What you should know about whip in lacrosse
Lacrosse shooting string rules
In 2014, NCAA and NFHS updated lacrosse shooting string rules, “The 4-inch shooting string rule”.
Specifically, there are two changes:
~~ Shooting strings must fall within 4 inches measuring from the highest point of your lacrosse head. In other words, any shooting strings that fall outside 4 inches range are deemed illegal.
To quote the exact wording in the Rulebook:
“Any additional strings or laces (e.g., shooting strings) must be located within 4” of top of the crosse (this prohibition does not apply to the goalkeeper’s crosse).”
NCAA Men’s Lacrosse 2020 Rulebook
When this rule was first introduced, it caused hot debates in the lacrosse industry as the popular U shooting string setup rendered no longer compliant. The change absolutely brought a shocking wave across both high school and collegiate levels.
Therefore, a general rule of thumb is to stick to two straight shooters at the top of your head so you will stay clear of trouble.
~~ Hanging strings cannot exceed 2 inches from the tie off. Nothing more to it other than simply following the rules and making sure they are no more than 2 inches long.
Pro move: don’t just throw away the cutoff shooting strings, use them to stop your shaft from rattling.
And don’t miss out on the all-new meshes that can transform your pocket and gameplay. Check out the best mesh buying guide
What Are The Styles Of Shooting Strings
There are essentially 5 different configurations of shooting strings you can utilize. This is the part where you should try to experiment with multiple styles and find which one suits you the most, otherwise, you would never find out which style gives you the best performance.
One thing to iterate is that since U and V styles are now banned, most configurations stick with straight or rolled shooters.
1 nylon 1 straight
Different variations exist for a reason. Normally the fewer the strings, the quicker the release. The 1 nylon 1 straight set up is popular among attackers who prefer a low pocket. It gets the ball out of the release quickly, which is super helpful for attackers who are looking to make quick passes and shots.
Players have only started to thread nylon strings recently and its main advantage is to create a better release point and added feel of the ball.
2 straight weaved shooting strings
2 straight weaved style is the most common and popular way for players to string the shooting strings for a couple of reasons. This weaved style is very convenient when adjusting the tension of the channel and shooters.
If the shooters are too tight, they tend to give the ball extra friction with a inconsistent pocket when releasing the ball. Thus, what this configuration does is to give you a low level of whip, which makes it ideal for a long pole defense player to throw a clearing pass.
1 nylon on 2 straight
Similar to 1 nylon 1 straight, this is a great configuration for offensive players who prefer mid pockets. It makes your release snappier with a good whip. At the same time, it also increases hold in your stick.
3 straight weaved shooting strings
The more string you have, the more hold you have in your stick. This is an ultimate configuration for people who desire great ball possession and snappy shots, which is why before U strings were banned, 3 straight weaved style was already popular.
Similar to 2 straight weaved styles, it gives you even less whip to make comfortable and easy clearing and outlet passes.
Lastly, it’s totally ok as well to not have any shooting strings! In fact, many players choose not to string any shooting strings, famously Matt Gibson. If you happen to not like any of the styles mentioned above and would rather choose to have more feel of the release, no shooting strings are worth consideration.
How To String Shooting Strings
Below I have included a helpful video that walks you through step by step how to lace your shooting strings:
So before you start to string the shooting strings, make sure they are the last thing to be strung. Start from the sidewall, weave through the mesh and once you hit the opposite side of the wall, tie it off.
If you don’t string the head yourself, you might never consider or know the benefits of them. It’s indeed a more advanced hack for laxers who want to string out a more accurate pocket for passing and shooting.
I hope this guide helps you understand shooting strings and why you should test out the water as it could potentially take your game to the next level.