Shooting String Rule Changes – 4 Inches

The newly modified 4 Inch Shooting String Set Up.

Editor’s Note: The last time Justin Skaggs was on LAS, the lead stringer over at Stylin Strings Lacrosse, filled is on on how the Shooting Strings Rules were being looked at, and potentially updated. Now that the facts are out and it’s all set, Justin shows you what will work, what won’t, and how, in the end, this might not be the end of the world!


So the rules are in. For shooting strings, we got 4 inches instead of the original 3.5 inches, which salvages the classic three-straight shooting string pattern. For those who have not read my original article, and who are now up in arms over the rule changes, I would like to make you aware that it could have been worse.

The original rule proposal would have left the laxers with only 2 shooters. Some input from the lacrosse community helped the receptive NCAA rule committee members make some adjustments.

Below you will see two diagrams. The first diagram shows the area and shooting string patterns that we would have been left with if the original rule had passed. The second diagram shows how the extra half inch opens us up for the possibility to have a third shooting string.

3.5_inch_shooting string diagram
The original 3.5″ set up.
The newly modified 4 Inch Shooting String Set Up.

The stick that we used for these images above had a heavily channeled side wall pattern, and is an actual stick, and not a drawing.

The channeled side wall pattern is a very common practice used by stringers to increase accuracy, and it can also be applied in ways that affect the “hold” that a player has on the ball. It is achieved by pulling the mesh diamonds down towards the bottom of the head by using the sidewalls. The third shooter just barely slipped by the boarder of legality. If this were a different head, the side wall holes coupled with this common channeling theory may leave you with too little room to legally string your third shooter.

I will be making a few prototypes for Stylin Strings Lacrosse and sending them off to The University of Virginia for testing. My goal will be to implement different channeling methods which will alleviate the issue of legal shooting string placement.


I have tapped into the talent pool that we have here at Stylin’ Strings Lacrosse, and recruited Tyler Bortner to help me in making the 2012/2013 NCAA prototype pockets. He plays for the Division III School York College, and I wanted someone who was affected by the rule change to be on the project.

As a stringer, I see the impact this rule change will have, and I empathize with the common opinions held by most in the lacrosse community. I too would have been content if nothing had happened, and the rules were never touched. But they were. This is final, and all of us have to accept that any pockets strung for last year’s NCAA season are most likely about to be a pile of mangled string and mesh on one’s floor. Instead waving a fist at the rule change, accept it, and put your hands to better use… by stringing! You have been given a rare opportunity to be inventive.