Another way to do it, named after the Canadian Huron Tribe.
It’s summer time, giving us a lot more time at the pool, and a lot more free time to string up some sticks. This week, I combined the two, giving you yet another way to string up your top strings. A lot of questions came in on the Choctaw, and this week I can answer them. For starters, it is possible to string this type of mesh pocket and avoid the lip. By properly stringing your sidewalls tightly, you can have a pocket that throws very smoothly, and without whip. I tried out one or two versions of these topstrings, and found a couple different things. Firstly, it was one of the smoothest releases I’d ever felt. Secondly, with my passing, it seemed fairly consistent. There was never a whipping feeling at all. The only thing that bothered me was that I sometimes couldn’t feel the actual release point, as it would leave the stick quickly and smoothly. It almost threw too high for my preference, but a quick tightening of the top shooter helped with both of these problems. The other issue I had is that the top-hold wasn’t very good. Trying to throw fakes away from the body were not successful, however the lower pocket that resulted helped by keeping the ball low and snug. Overall, something worth fooling around with. I didn’t take a whole lot of time to perfect it, but with the right combo of shooters, I could see this one becoming a fun, quick pocket to play with.
For this version:
Note: This idea only works on heads that have a lot of top holes.
Start by cutting a 4.5 foot long piece of string. This will give you plenty to work with. Fold it in half, and pull one half through the plastic and first mesh hole til you’re at the middle. Begin by looping around the outer diamond of the top of your mesh. You’ll want to secure it tightly to the sidewall. Take the string that came up through the mesh and go to the first outer leather hole. Here, you’ll make a knot similar to the one you’d regularly make when stringing sidewall topstrings. (Down through the plastic, up and around, up through the plastic, and then through the loop). I repeated this, going to every other hole in the mesh. When you get to the end, go down through the last mesh hole, out the sidewall hole, then loop around and back through the mesh again. This will make sure that you keep the mesh tight to the side. Taking the second half of the string that’s still hanging out, go up a few holes outside the sidewall, and begin to zig zag from the top left hole in the head. Again, hit every other mesh hole, filling in where you skipped it the first time through. Make sure to alternate going above or below the first string, so that you have a nice shoestring type zig zag going across the top. For example, you don’t want your second string laying entirely on the back of the first string. Lastly, just tie it off.
Like last week, and with every top string like this, the key to the pocket is in the sidewalls. String them tight, make sure that the top of the mesh is tightest where you want the ball to release. Anchoring your shooters through the plastic or under the sidewall will help as well.
I’ll have one more for you guys next week, so stay tuned. This one will be finished with sidewalls and everything, so you know exactly how I did mine.
Lastly, I wanted to share with you a fun excerpt I found while looking up the names of different lacrosse playing tribes. You can find the entire article here: http://lacrosse.wikia.com/wiki/History_of_Native_American_Lacrosse
“Apart from its recreational function, lacrosse traditionally played a more serious role in Indian culture. Its origins are rooted in legend, and the game continues to be used for curative purposes and surrounded with ceremony. Game equipment and players are still ritually prepared by conjurers, and team selection and victory are often considered supernaturally controlled. In the past, lacrosse also served to vent aggression, and territorial disputes between tribes were sometimes settled with a game, although not always amicably. A Creek versus Choctaw game around 1790 to determine rights over a beaver pond broke out into a violent battle when the Creeks were declared winners. Still, while the majority of the games ended peaceably, much of the ceremonialism surrounding their preparations and the rituals required of the players were identical to those practiced before departing on the warpath.
A number of factors led to the demise of lacrosse in many areas by the late nineteenth century. Wagering on games had always been integral to an Indian community’s involvement, but when betting and violence saw an increase as traditional Indian culture was eroding, it sparked opposition to lacrosse from government officials and missionaries. The games were felt to interfere with church attendance and the wagering to have an impoverishing effect on the Indians. When Oklahoma Choctaw began to attach lead weights to their sticks around 1900 to use them as skull-crackers, the game was outright banned.”