Editor’s Note: This multi-part series Women’s Stringing Roundtable on #TheGopherProject will provide insight from experienced stringers and representatives from stringing manufacturers. Today, we focus on what our Roundtable thinks is the best women’s lacrosse pocket. Women’s pockets have always had more restrictions than men’s pockets. With the recent relaxing of the rules and allowing mesh, it will be interesting to see how the game evolves.
Click here for Part 1 of the Women’s Roundtable series.
Best Women’s Lacrosse Pocket
In this, the first installment of the Women’s Stringing Roundtable, we are going to explore just how the changes of allowing mesh in women’s lacrosse has been impacting gameplay.
With the help of Robin Brown aka @Laxtractive, we selected a handful of our favorite women’s stringers and asked for their point of view. Let’s introduce the roundtable panel:
Katie Facciola (the one, the only Foss!)
With the mesh rules relaxing current rigid women’s stringing rules, what do you see as the best women’s lacrosse pocket? For example, traditional based, mesh, or a hybrid?
Liz- Personally, on a large scale, I’m in favor of full-mesh. It’s easier to string, consistent every time with a sidewall pattern and with all of the performance meshes out there, rarely bags in the elements. Hybrid mesh/traditional is also a favorite of mine as it gives the best of both worlds. With that being said, I do think that there is a place for traditional based stringing. For those that know exactly what they want, and are willing to spend time caring for it, I think it can be greatly utilized. You can create some amazing pockets with traditional stringing, but it can also go very, very wrong, too.
Michael- I believe a traditional will always be the best , if well strung. Mesh can mimic some traits but will never fully capture the hold and feel of leather and string.
Marisa- For my personal preference I go between a traditional pita pocket or a venom center runner.
The ideal pocket really changes based in the player just like with men’s and goalies, I have found that a higher pocket with a lot of hold and a good amount of whip is preferred.
Kaylee- I think the ideal pocket will always be based on the player. Just like the men’s game I think it will come down to traditional vs mesh with some hybrids thrown in there from time to time. Traditional works best with players who maintain the pocket after rain/break in while mesh may be better for a player who doesn’t want any of the inconsistencies that can come from traditional pockets.
Robin- I love traditionals, I will always have at least a few strung up ready to go. But when it comes down to consistency of play, it is hard to beat a mesh pocket if it is in a head with a skinny face-shape. The main drawback for mesh pockets in relation to traditionals is how much more the ball rattles horizontally in the pocket, but this can become unnoticeable with the right mesh pattern in a skinny-faced head. If I’m dreaming and the WPLL asks me to play a game, I’d grab my single twist pita pocket (traditional) simply because it’s what I’ve used for the past ten years. But lately I find myself using full mesh pockets more when I’m playing around for fun.
I try to mention when asked this question, that the ideal pocket is the one you’re most comfortable with. That doesn’t mean you should never try something new, you really should! Just remember that what makes the most difference is the work you put in.
Maesa- Tough question. I’m very sold on a traditional based or straight up 4 leather pockets but that’s my bias. Our head coach and varsity girls only go traditional and it’s usually four leathers with a rail being the most popular. I’ve sold our program on four leathers that that’s they’re go to and with mesh being allowed, it’s hard to convince them away from it. But I have been putting mesh runners our younger players pockets since they’re less experienced and barely have to break in the pocket. It’s a great in between, mixing the best of both worlds. It can offer almost everything that a really great broken in leather pocket can. So, I guess a mesh traditional hybrid would be the ideal pocket. I think it works for everyone and can work in every stick. Not all pockets work for everyone and for every head, but I’ve found this one does. The newer generation is definitely about that mesh.
Foss- I am a traditionalist through and through. But, I think it’s easier for mesh because it is easier to install into a pocket. And you can screw up a traditional pocket very easily.