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USA's taylor Cummings runs towards Welsh traffic at the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women's Lacrosse World Cup, at Surrey Sports Park, Guildford, Surrey, UK, 18th July 2017.

New Women’s Lacrosse Rules? What Limitations Will They Have? Our Roundtable Discusses

Editor’s Note: This multipart series of our Women’s Stringing Roundtable on #TheGopherProject will provide insight from experienced stringers and representatives from stringing manufacturers. Today, we ask our roundtable what limitations the recent changes to the women’s rules will have on the game. Women’s lacrosse 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 Discussion talking about how mesh in women’s lacrosse is affecting the game. Click here for Part 2 about what the optimal women’s pocket is. Click here for Part 3 about when and if we will see an all-mesh women’s lacrosse head. Click here for Part 4 as our roundtable discusses the future of women’s head technology.

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 discussing today’s issue of the future of women’s head technology:

Roundtable Members

Liz Hogan

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Michael Spencer

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Marisa Zandi

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Kaylee Nolan

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Robin Brown

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Maesa Phongsamouth

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Katie Facciola (the one, the only Foss!)

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What limitations (if any) do you see these new women’s lacrosse rules placing on the game?

Liz – I don’t really see any limitations. Some coaches might argue that mesh sticks are hurting their player’s stick work, but in my opinion, that’s just bad stringing or bad coaching. I think like anything new; it took a while to understand how to tweak it and come up with a great product. Outside of that, I think this really allows the player to customize her stick the way she feels. It also helps drive the conversation about what pockets are, what to look for in them and how to maintain them — all something I think is a huge positive.

Michael – None really.  My fear is that mesh will make traditional stringing extinct as it did in the men’s game.  In a bid to make things “easier” an art form will be lost.  Traditional stringing has no advertising budget only word of mouth and reputation.

Marisa – I can only hope that the US Lacrosse committees won’t vote to add more regulations on the game, I feel like there are already a number of rules that interfere.

If any more rules need to be added, the goal should be to make the game more fluid and have less and less standing — even at the high school level.

Kaylee – I could see the cycle continuing of refs getting frustrated with a mass of different pockets, then US Lacrosse puts stricter rules on pockets, and then refs getting confused by rules and deeming pockets illegal, followed by US Lacrosse taking away rules.

Robin – Right now there is still some confusion about stringing to the inside when it involves going over the top of the bottom rail as opposed to the bottom of the bottom rail of the sidewall. These new women’s lacrosse rule changes were great and much needed but the rules are still not as clear as they really should be. US Lacrosse would be wise to open up more to the stringing community if their goal is for the rulebook to be easily interpretable, because right now they use terms only familiar to them (eg “stitches”) while most stringers have ascribed to a colloquially-known nomenclature.

Maesa – I’m not sure if I see any. I think it helps grow the game and change the game. Players can be more creative with their pocket and find what suits them and their style of play. I love how the women’s game is and I think it enhances the game to bring in that extra power and finesse like men’s but still keeping it from being like the men’s game. Plus, the stick checks to make sure the pocket is legal are pretty strict so it balances it out.

Foss – What I don’t like is people assuming women’s lacrosse needs to shift more towards men’s lacrosse with the rule changes. If a girl wants to play men’s lacrosse then we should let her, but don’t think women’s lacrosse is less than the men’s game because we can’t hit.  Our sport is something different, it’s like comparing ice hockey to field hockey.

Thanks to our women’s roundtable for participating in this series! Be sure to stay tuned to the #TheGopherProject for the latest insight into stringing.

Remember to tag all string ups with #TheGopherProject to earn String Up of the Week honors!

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