Editor’s Note: This multi-part series Women’s Stringing Roundtable on #TheGopherProject will provide insight from experienced stringers and representatives from stringing manufacturers. Check out the first week in the series here, and the second edition here. You can find the third edition here. Here’s the fourth edition. Today, our roundtable discusses whether women’s lacrosse will ever evolving into the men’s game.
Women’s lacrosse pockets have always had more restrictions than men’s pockets. With the recent relaxing of the rules and allowing women’s lacrosse mesh pockets, it will be interesting to see how the game evolves. Let’s introduce our panel for this part of the roundtable:
Nick VanRensselaer and Austin Atkinson of ECD
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Julie Gardner of STX
James Miceli and Evan McDonell of Epoch
Kit Smith and Matt Schuler of String King
As the women’s equipment is starting to take on more similarities to the men’s game (helmets and now mesh), do you eventually see the women’s game evolving into the men’s? If so, how are you as a company preparing for that?
ECD: I don’t think that the women’s game will ever adopt the same rules as the men. I know a lot of women’s players that have a “all or nothing” mindset, meaning they either want all the pads/rules or nothing. From the conversations that I have had, the people that oversee making/changing the rules are against making the women’s game any more like the men’s game. When we were meeting with these rules-makers prior to the 2018 Women’s mesh rules being passed, they were against anything that would make the women’s game closer to the men’s, specifically girls being able to throw/shoot faster.
STX: We do not see the women’s game evolving exactly into the men’s, however, we do support the growth of the sport. Meaning, rules and product are bound to change. We stay “in the know” and do our best to act as a leader and collaborator within our tight knit industry. Our sport is always evolving, and we are always on our toes, making plans behind the scenes to give every player every opportunity to be at the top of her game!
Epoch: At Epoch, we hope the women’s game will always be unique to itself, however there are elements of both the women’s and men’s game that each can learn from to improve. The PLL has been a great example of how slight rules changes can make the games more enjoyable to watch on TV and I can imagine women’s lacrosse doing the same. A great example is the implementation of Free Movement and how this rule has improved the game for the players and fans alike.
Todays’ athletes are some of the best in the world and we have seen that updated rules and innovation in equipment have allowed these athletes to better showcase their ability. I am confident this will continue in the future.
String King: I could definitely see the women’s game adopting a few more rules similar to the men’s game and simplifying their rulebook a bit, but it seems to me that the women’s game has distinct and interesting aspects to it where it wouldn’t make sense for it to ultimately evolve into the men’s game. But whatever future awaits for the women’s game, we’ll make sure we have the very best women’s pockets pre-strung and ready to go off the rack.
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