Comment: Once upon a time there was a Lacrosse player who ran fast and carried a small stick. Jim Brown as we know played NFL Football but also Lacrosse while at Syracuse. He ran through defenses using a very short stick that was easier to conceal from opposing sticks and with a thumb over the ball clutched to his chest is regarded as possibly the best to ever play the game.
While good for Jim, the outcome for the rest was a perceived need for a rule governing stick length. Stick length is known to be a very real and significant factor in ball control but also pass accuracy and catching. One obvious limitation regarding stick length is the inability to throw underhand unless tall, or at least limiting the acuteness of the angle more resembling sidearm.
Rules that remove unfair advantage are great for the sport. Competition flourishes so long as everyone is playing under the same rules. But the same rule that helps can also hurt. Having all players limit to 30” or so is short to some and very long to others, imagine all baseball players swinging the same length bat – no thanks.
So this year’s Rules modification allows U9 & U11 to go 3” shorter, it’s a natural yes nothing not to like from a players point of view – the game is easier, the crosse less cumbersome, too much stick gets in the way especially of the shot; you want to throw the ball not the stick. Many a player will choke up about to catch a must have bullet, shortening the angle of the ball trajectory the eye must follow – presumably, making it easier to catch. A ball can be dislodged so quick and effectively from the buttend of the shaft you may be the last to know, so we try to hide this extra length – better not to have it.
All good until junior goes U13 and can’t take the expensive, light, now too short alloy onto the field. If it were wood however, it would not be expensive and it would be a treasured piece of architecture as Pine Wood dents and rents and colors through an average season.
Our woods are playable (strong & light) mostly due to the quality of the selections available to us. These resources are critical requirements to playable woods.
Our WAR PATH! 27” Solid Pine Wood is designed specifically for players 12 and under to take maximum advantage of this rules modification. They are very light and very strong but as importantly WAR PATH! is in the H Taper design because one size does not fit all in this critical dimension either. Handgrip of a regular shaft by an adult hand is mostly great, but of a young player mostly not – we think. Shaft with head (& ball) is notably weighted forward, this balance is further accentuated by tapering the shaft which slims the handle nearest the buttend. This tapering also lessens weight in the hand and improves handgrip. Slimmer profile with the sports most positive stop buttend, allows a smaller hand to keep much better control while positioning in the many different angles Lacrosse requires.
Reducing the length of the shaft you are now playing with up to 3”, we think, is a great idea from a competitive view. When that one breaks (actually its less likely to break now) switch to WAR PATH!, or break the bank get it now and turn your current stick into a backup. Either way congratulations – you’ve become a much better player overnight.
RULE 1 SECTION 6
US Lacrosse recommends that coaches assess players’ size, strength, and skill in determining proper long crosse length for defense players, within NFHS rules. US Lacrosse further recommends that a long crosse should not be taller than the player at any youth level. Crosse dimensions will conform to NFHS or NCAA requirements, with the following modifications:
The length of the crosse for field players may be 37 to 42 inches or 47 to 52 (“long crosse” for purposes of NFHS
RULE 2 SECTION 1 ARTICLE 2). Many coaches find that the use of a 37 to 42 inch crosse is best for defensive
player development in the U11 Division.
The length of all crosses for all field players shall be 37 to 42 inches.