As you very well know by now, the Playing Rules Oversight Panel on September 24th approved new rules changes in men’s lacrosse. Rules such as establishment of a shot clock procedure that replaces the sport’s stall warning. The panel also approved a rule regarding shooting strings. Starting with the 2013 season, players will be allowed to have shooting strings up to but not touching four inches from the top of the crosse. The pocket will also have to be void of a U or V shooting string. All teams at the collegiate level have been playing accordingly to the new rules in Fall Ball. We recently had the opportunity to hear opinions from a coaches perspective on the new rules from University of North Carolina Chief Assistant Coach Pat Myers.
Pat Myers, one of the brightest young minds in collegiate lacrosse coaching, is now in his fourth year as the head assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the lacrosse program at North Carolina. Myers has done an outstanding job in his first three years as Tar Heel head coach Joe Breschi’s top assistant. Myers coaches the offense and sees how the players handle their sticks firsthand. Myers answers our questions regarding the 2013 NCAA Stringing Rules below.
Do you think the rules will accomplish what they are meant to?
I think some will and some will continue to be a work in progress….only time will tell!
Have you seen players try to skirt the rules by stringing their head differently?
At this point I think the guys are just trying some different things to see what works best with the new rules…really just a trial and error process. It seems like most guys are settling in with 2 -3 shooters and that seems to be working fine for them.
Do all of your players seem to know how to adjust their stick to meet all of the new specifications?
Yes, there are a couple guys on the team that do most of the stringing and they seem to have found some ways to find that comfort zone and get the sticks legal but still maintain hold, accuracy, power, etc.
How often do your players have to spend checking and their sticks?
We ask them to check them regularly and conduct some random stick checks during practice to keep them on their toes.
Do you think the lack of the U or V shooters translates to less accuracy or hold?
I think it does have some effect, still not really sure how much at this point. Where I see the biggest difference is with off-hand or “weak hand” shooting where the hold is usually there to make up for a lack of muscle memory or strength. Outside of that, we have actually been focusing a lot on stickwork and shooting and the guys seem to be adjusting fine.
What type of mesh (wax, hard, soft, traditional) is your team using? What company makes it?
Our guys mostly use the basic Hard Mesh made by STX. Some use Soft Mesh, and some use a “Canadian Mesh” but for the most part it has been pretty consistent with the hard mesh. Some guys use lotion on their pockets as well during the breaking in process.
Does this affect how many heads the players have to buy, or if they have to prep their heads/stringing a certain way?
Our players don’t have to buy their own heads, they are issued heads in the fall / spring. I have not seen any difference in prep time or stringing time.
Especially it being Fall Ball, players are rusty. But, can poor passing/shooting be attributed to their new stringing at all?
I do believe there is an adjustment period. For some players they need to take a step back before moving forward while others have hit the ground running. Overall I don’t see it having a huge effect and as we get further into fall ball / off-season, the stickwork and shooting seems to be much crisper. This is the normal progression though, and it’s tough to say how much can be attributed to the new stick stringing rules.
We would like to thank Coach Myers for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. For more information visit North Carolina Lacrosse.