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 ask our roundtable about the future of women’s head technology. 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.
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:
Katie Facciola (the one, the only Foss!)
Where do you see women’s head technology moving in the future? (Deeper pockets, more offset)
Liz– It’s interesting, I think with the STX Axxis release, we might see more draw specific heads. I do, however, believe that the women’s and girls’ rule committees are greatly aware of rule changes can greatly impact the game. We’ve seen the positive impact of free movement, but also the negative impact — and ultimately removal of — rule changes like a minor foul for 3 seconds.
So, I really don’t see them allowing deeper pockets, more offset etc. I do see companies trying to work around it, playing with different angles and releases, but I don’t think the rules will change to allow for anything drastic. Ultimately once a head is on the market, it’s really hard to take it off of the market due to money.
Michael– I feel the offset race will continue. I am interested to see how Epoch will fair with its follow up to the Purpose. I believe pocket depth has reached its zenith in the women’s game. Any deeper and the finesse that makes it beautiful to watch will evaporate.
Marisa– In the future I see women’s heads trying to go with deeper pockets. I don’t see pushing the offset father benefiting the performance.
Kaylee– As far as offset and pocket depth US Lacrosse will have to change specifications about requirements because all the major heads are at the limit with what they can do and still remain a legal head. There is only so much offset allowed (the whole angle thing going on right now is just how fast a head gets to that offset but regardless the amount allowed is still the same). I think we will see a little more with smaller improvements like string protection and things like that but we haven’t seen any major design changes to heads in years for any player except the draw specialist.
Robin– I can only imagine! With deeper pockets comes faster shots and an increased difficulty to eject the ball when playing defense, so I think pads will be necessary with deeper pockets. I wonder if US Lacrosse plans to gradually allow more contact with new stringing changes, eventually merging the men’s and women’s game into a more similar hybrid. The rules in the sport change so often I don’t think it’s out of the question.
Maesa– I can see women’s heads in the future moving towards getting the deepest legal pocket. Finding the right balance/consistency amongst head weight, head shape, sidewall, offset, and pocket. For example, I honestly think the single pita “laxtractive” pocket is the perfect match for the True prowess head. At least the pocket I’ve strung in mine, it works well in the head and with the offset. The pocket never bags out or needs adjusting even with rain and it’s the deepest legal pocket I have. I’ve tried mesh, and mesh hybrids in that head and it doesn’t work as well. As well as trying the pita pocket in other heads and it not feeling or being as great as it is in the prowess. And yes, I string for True, but I’m not trying to hype up the head because I have my dislikes about it. However, I keep going back to it because I prefer the how the pocket is in that head. I just think they found the right pocket for their head. Long story short…not all pockets are made equal in every head.
I think we’ll see some different face shapes too, like we’ve already seen with the STX Axxis or this Nike one I’ve seen. Seems like companies are trying out different shapes from the traditional one we’ve seen for so many years.
The rule book has something about the plane of the head from the shaft can’t be more than 15 degrees so offset wise I don’t think that will change. At that point, I think more than 15 degrees will just throw to the ground. Most heads made now have some sort of offset but I think companies will try to push the limit with it or at least mimic each other from what we’ve been seeing with the STX 10 degree, Epoch Purpose 15 degree and Maverik release angle.
Foss– More position specific (unfortunately). the offset, I still haven’t heard a great explanation about why that is a thing yet, or what these numbers really mean — except in the Epoch Purpose (that 15 degree is no joke!!!)