revolving doerr pocket rob doerr #thegopherproject
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Revolving Doerr Pocket: #TheGopherProject

This week we’re taking a stab at the Revolving Doerr Pocket.  It’s mainly a defensive pocket. It was created by Johns Hopkins defenseman Rob Doerr back in the mid-1990s. It’s a high hold, lower whip string-up.  When strung right, it never looks symmetrical after it’s broken in. Let’s face it… it’s a pocket only a pole could love.  

First, let’s get a little background on the man behind the pocket.  Rob Doerr was a two-time All-American at Johns Hopkins and the MLL Defensive Player of the Year in 2001 with the Bayhawks.  Luckily, one of my teammates is friends with Rob and set up an introduction. I remember reading about Rob’s pocket back in the e-lacrosse days.  Since you can no longer access the site (or even find a picture of his pocket) this was the perfect chance to go straight to the source. How did Rob come up with the pocket?  He and two buddies (who went to Towson and worked for Bachrach) experimenting with several pockets until they found one that worked for Rob’s style.   

They created a pocket that allowed the ball to sit directly below the shootings strings and fit his vertical style.  Not sure what that style is? Click this link and skip to the 8:20 mark and see…. 

The story of Rob Doerr’s pocket contains an important message to stringers of all levels: experiment. While you may have more failures than successes, when you do it right, it’ll be a grand slam (I know… I know. Baseball analogy but let’s just move past that). 

Now the name, how did Rob come up with it? Easy! He didn’t. Someone coined the term and he didn’t even know it until he’d been using the pocket for a while.   

Even better than some video of Rob playing, I got pics of the head he used in college. This is the first time since the e-lacrosse days that I’ve seen an actual pic of his original string up.  

Revolving Doerr Pocket Materials

  1. A lacrosse head.  Here we are using a dyed ECD Rebel Graphene D
  2. Two leathers (Here I’ll show you how to use “junk leathers.”. Also visit this article on ideas for recycling leathers as well).
  3. Crosslace.  Two pieces for the center (about four feet each), two pieces for the outer section (about three feet each) and two pieces for the inner section (about three feet each).  This will give you excess but it’s better to have too much than not enough.
  4. Sidewall.  Normal length
  5. Shooters.  Three at normal length
  6. Either a pocket screw or Traditree to help with the tensioning on the sides.  

#thegopherproject revolving doerr pocket

Step 1: 

Sidewall.  I use my normal method and double interlock each knot to keep it tight to the head even after break in.  

#thegopherproject revolving doerr pocket

Step 2: 

Leathers…..have a batch of leathers that have that plastic/patent leather feel on one side?  Here’s how you can salvage them. Flip them over so the rough section is on the ball side instead of at the back of the head.  Otherwise the leathers are best used for something not lacrosse related.  

Step 3:

Take the center pieces of crosslace and tie a knot (in one end of each.  Thread them through the top sidewall hole and then through each leather. Pull to the opposite leather and double interlock (I feel this keeps the center track from shifting around).   Continue this for 8 interlock and tie off in the two outer throat openings.

Step 4: 

Here’s where you want to insert the pocket screw or tradi for the next part    Now we are going to do the outer cross lace, tie off on the 1st scoop hole closest to the sidewall.  Here we are going to loop to the sidewall and double interlock that knot (to keep shifting to a minimum).  The trick here is to make sure the loop is in the middle of the scoop hole you tied off on. This will help keep the pocket symmetrical.   You want to do 5 loops down the sidewall and tie off at the bottom. 

Step 5: 

Start in the same scoop hole as the outer section and interlock to the first section on the leather and over to the first loop.  From here, you are going to do two interlocks to every loop working each side at the same time to keep the tension correct. Work all the way down the head and tie off in the bottom outer throat holes.  

Step 6:

Adjust any tensioning and put shooters in! Hit the wall and break it in. Enjoy the Revolving Doerr Pocket!

#thegopherproject revolving doerr pocketRemember to tag all string ups with #TheGopherProject to earn weekly spotlights!