This is a Boy’s only FAQ entry. The girl’s sticks are all traditional and don’t vary much as the rules are very stringent on how lacrosse sticks can be strung.
The boys have a great deal more leeway on how sticks are strung.
We often have discussion with parents about gear and the one that confuses parents the most is mesh. Mesh os the netting in the stick and there are several types and many more styles. We like to tell parents it isn’t the wand its the magician. A good player will play well with whatever is in his hand.
That being said, we do feel that certain level player will benefit from different types of mesh.
A lot has changed from the days of the traditional pockets (nylon string woven into four leathers). The introduction of mesh pockets has nearly eliminated the traditional pocket from uses from all but die-hard old schoolers. The traditional pocket provided excellent ball control and nearly unlimited adjustability. The negative was that the traditional pocket requires a great deal of maintenance and didn’t handle weather well. Summary: They are cool to have but a PAIN to own. Unless you like tweaking your stick ALL the time avoid this style.
Is the type of mesh found on the $29 sticks at Dicks Sporting Goods. Soft mesh catches the ball well. It will have a slight tendency to lose its shape a little quicker than most pocket styles due to it having so much give. It can be a little more difficult to keep the throw consistent and the release will be slower than most other types of stringing methods. The advantages of soft mesh is that it will not stretch as much as hard mesh, meaning there will be less maintenance involved. Soft mesh is not recommended for wet conditions.
Pro: Cheap, Lots of give make catching easier
Con: Cheap, Not very good in the wet, inconsistent for shooting and passing
Hard mesh is great in bad weather and will stay consistent throughout much of the life of the pocket. You get great snap out of hard mesh so you can really “feel” the ball come out of the head. It has a very quick release because there is a lot of pressure moving towards the middle of the pocket.
Pro: Long Life, Once broken in it is very consistent, Forms a very nice pocket
Cons: Takes a while to break-in (think breaking in a baseball glove)
Marc Mesh (and other variants that use wax)
Marc Mesh is an alternative to hard or soft mesh. It became popular with Canadian Box lacrosse players. It is a much softer mesh than traditional hard mesh but retains its shape much better than Soft Mesh. It is a very good choice for a player who realized that they need a stick restrung in the middle of the season or right before a game. Marc Mesh needs only about 1 hour to “break-in” so it is a great emergency choice. http://www.bluecollarlax.com and is sold locally (and much cheaper) at Play It Again Sports in Webster.
Pro: Consistent, Quick break-in period, Nice feel
Con: Expensive, Has a “different feel” that a player needs to get used to
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