Thursday, September 8, 2011

Communicate with the other middies

Communicate with your teammates on which way you are going to rake the ball to them.

More often than not, the middie taking the faceoff cannot win the ball to himself. That is why you rake it out to your teammates who are running in. Be sure to communicate to them where they should be.

If they don't get to the ball first, then it is often your own fault. I always place the long stick middie on my left side, because I usually win it to my right. I place the other middie back and to my left, to prevent the fast break.

The lacrosse faceoff person is often overlooked on younger teams. College teams realize how much of an asset a good faceoff man is.

Illegal Faceoff Moves

There are a lot of illegal lacrosse faceoff moves that your opponent may do against you. Most of the time, the ref doesn't catch this. It is up to you to recognize when they are doing illegal moves, and tell the ref.

The first, and usually the most common, is when they use their hand to interfere with the faceoff. They can either use their hand to pick up your stick, or use it to push the ball out.

Using your hand to help with faceoffs is very common, and you have to be able to recognize it. It happens very fast. If you find that you are losing a lot of lacrosse faceoffs, take the time to watch what your opponent is doing, and see if he is using his hand illegally.

Another illegal move that you should watch out for is when the opponent makes a noise before the whistle blows, which will cause you to false start.

This move is harder to do because the refs can usually hear the person saying this. They may even call an unsportsmanlike penalty if they catch the person doing it.

There are a lot of illegal faceoff moves that you need to watch out for. They are all totally illegal, and are used very often.

Remember... A good faceoff player can win without cheating.

Practice Lacrosse Faceoffs

How do you practice lacrosse faceoffs when you don't have anyone to practice with?

It is very easy to do this. Start by taking your stance over the ball, and as quickly as you can, jump the ball over and over again. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds, then take a break. Do 3 to 5 sets of this for 30 seconds each. This will help your quickness of off the whistle.

If you want to work on your clamp, or power clamp, then all you need is a wall. Take your stance with the wall about 3 feet away from you. Pretend that the ref is blowing the whistle each time to make it more real. Once the whistle blows, clamp down hard, and rake it out behind you. The wall is there to stop the ball from rolling very far.


Stick with me here... these things are all basic knowledge; so if you are experienced with faceoffs, then skip over this. There are three basic types of faceoff moves: Clamp, Jump, and Push (however, they are sometimes called different names).

Rock, Paper, Scissors

It sounds kind of stupid, but winning a lacrosse faceoff is a lot like the game: rock, paper, scissors. In order to beat an opponent who is clamping, you jump. To beat someone pushing, then you clamp. To beat someone jumping, you push.

How do you know what your opponent is going to do?

There are a few different ways that you can know what the opposing player is doing. Now, it is important to know that these signs are not always correct, but they are correct about 90% of the time.

If the other person is going to clamp, then they will have their left wrist cocked back. If they are going to power clamp, then his two hands will be positioned the same way, with the top of the hands showing. In football terms, this could be seeing a lineman in four point stance.

If they are going to jump, then both of their wrists will be straight. You may also see their right hand just hovering over the ground. They do this to get a better jump on the ball.

When they are about to push the ball, then you will probably see their left hand cocked forward, with the front of their hand pointing at you. When they push, then you will counter with a clamp down the mid line, and to the right.

Friday, February 5, 2010

US Lacrosse Statement

(December 18, 2008) — Effective January 1, 2010, the NCAA rules for men’s lacrosse will include a modified stick head dimension specification, which will require a minimum width dimension of 3" for the throat of the lacrosse stick head.

In recent years, manufacturers have evolved men’s lacrosse stick head designs within the rules to become narrower. This design evolution has made it more difficult to dislodge the ball and changed the nature of the college game. According to statements released by the NCAA, this specification change will return the stick head to a more traditional shape, which will result in greater balance between offense and defense, as well as the preservation of the traditions of the game.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the organization that writes rules for high school sports (including boys’ lacrosse), has not adopted any revisions in stick specifications for boys’ lacrosse. The NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee, which includes representation by US Lacrosse, meets annually in July to consider rule revisions, and the issue of stick specifications will be discussed again at that time. As with most rule changes that would have a budgetary impact on schools, should a revision in stick specifications be adopted by the NFHS at some point in the future, it would likely include a delayed implementation to minimize the economic impact on school budgets. It should also be noted that some school and/or youth leagues throughout the country which choose to follow NCAA rules have committed to make the change according to the NCAA timetable.

The US Lacrosse Rules for Boys’ Youth Lacrosse are included as exceptions to the NFHS boys’ lacrosse rules in the appendix of the NFHS Boys Lacrosse rule book. US Lacrosse has not adopted revisions to stick dimension specifications for boys youth play, and the consideration of any changes to stick dimension specifications, as well as the timing of such changes, would be made in collaboration with the NFHS.

Currently, the only level of play that has adopted any revised stick specifications for the 2010 season is the NCAA collegiate level and other leagues that use NCAA rules.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Faceoff 2010: Could Stringing save your faceoff ?

As we approach the 2010 lacrosse season many players are wondering how the new stick regulations are going to affect college play. In particular, the faceoff is likely going to see one of the biggest changes in play. But does it have to?

In past times players have been able to tweak their heads to their liking. This could be done by baking it, pinching it, or just working it in over time. The purpose of this was to give the player what he believes to be the best chance of winning the faceoff. Winning with a flexible head, stiff head, or many other factors would come up when trying to create the perfect faceoff head. What remained constant between the majorities of these faceoff players though, was the width of the head. Most players preferred their stick to have a very narrow throat because this ensured a very quick clamp on the ball. Not only would that, having a very pinched head allows these players to perform had a move called the pinch and pop. For many this was their bread and butter but because of the new regulations it is going to be much more difficult to perform this move with such a wide head.

Over the past few months I like many have been adjusting to these new sticks. Also like many I would sure prefer the old heads to the new ones especially when it comes to facing off. Unfortunately though, these rules are not going to change any time soon so it is wise to adapt as quickly as possible and get in as many reps as you can in preparation for the season.

What I wanted to get at today though is that even though these rules will largely effect the faceoff techniques used, there is still some hope for those whose "go to" move was the pinch and pop.

Pictured here is the Evolution Pro X6. This is one of the new heads that has been cleared for college level play and has been the head I have been working with the past few months. As you will notice though there is some odd stringing happening along the side of the head. This blue shooting string is mirrored on the other side of the head as well. I believe this will help many players retain one of their favorite moves which is the pinch and pop. After going through the rules of 2010 I didn't find anything stating that this type of stringing couldn't be done. What happens is when you string alongside the head like pictured, the ball will become lodged in the back of the head and feels just like it would in an older head before these rules took place.

As you can see in the video the ball will become lodged and is also easily removable so there will be no worries for an illegal procedure. (For those who don't know, an illegal procedure can happen when the ball gets stuck in the backside of the head. You have one shot or about one second to dislodge it or you will be called for an illegal procedure)

Hopefully many of you found this helpful and possibly even try it out for yourselves. If you have any questions please just shoot me an email. Also if you would like to give any input as to how this works for you or any other ideas just fill out a comment, let us know what you think.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Head and Faceoff Rules

For those asking about the new face off rules, here are the rules which are to be enforced starting Jan 1st 2010. From here on I will be reviewing the new heads that adhere to these rules and give you my opinion as I get the chance to try many of these new heads out.

--- The NCAA Men's Lacrosse Rules Committee capped a year-long discussion and study period by proposing changes to the dimensions of the lacrosse stick, effective January 1, 2010.

The committee also approved several minor rules proposals to address concerns about the faceoff and the pace of play.

The committee's actions must be considered by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel before final implementation. The Playing Rules Oversight Panel is scheduled to meet August 29.

In addressing the specifications of the stick, the committee considered a multitude of information provided by coaches, stick manufacturers and other outside sources. The group decided on specifications that it hopes will allow the free dislodgement of the ball, while allowing manufacturers flexibility in their designs. Additionally, by extending the effective date to 2010, the committee's intent is to allow time for the adjustment.

"We considered a wide variety of options and ultimately have specifications that we believe will improve the game," said Willie Scroggs, senior associate athletics director at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and chair of the committee.

The committee is proposing specifications to require the crosse to be at least three inches wide at any point when measured 1 ¼ inches from the throat of the crosse. At the five-inch point, the crosse must be four inches when measured on the front of the crosse and 3 ½ inches when measured on the back. The specification at the widest point of the crosse remains the same at 6 ½ inches on the front and six inches on the back.

"It has become clear that the sticks are creating more physical play that is a concern," Scroggs said. "Additionally, the crosse has become a large determining factor in faceoffs and these new specifications will bring the skill back to the faceoff."

To address the use of "pull strings" in the game, the group added an approved ruling to penalize tactics that alter the depth of the pocket at any time during the game. The committee also will limit the length of the strings hanging from the stick to two inches. The previous allowance was six inches.

"Pull strings and pocket depth are major issues along with the specifications of the crosse," Scroggs said. "We want all players to use a crosse that would ensure the integrity of the game."

The committee approved two other proposals to address faceoff violations and the pace of play in general. First, when a faceoff violation occurs before the whistle to start play, the offending team's faceoff player must leave the field and a substitute must replace him. Second, the committee voted that, once the ball is in the attack area, if it leaves for any reason, a new 10-second count will start for the offensive team to return the ball to the attack area unless possession is gained by the defensive team.

"In both of these situations, we are addressing the pace of play and hopefully creating some additional action in the game," Scroggs said.---

Sunday, July 12, 2009


The Warrior Mojo is the next faceoff head in question. This head has also gotten many mixed reviews but I'm about to break this one down a bit further and tell you why I don't like this head for facing off. What comes into question about the Mojo is just like every other lacrosse head on the market, its shape of the throat, flexibility, durability, and the ability to win faceoffs.

-Shape of the throat

At first when you look at this head it looks like it could be a decent head for facing off, until you look at it from the back. The reason I feel so against using a head like this is because of how wide the throat becomes on the backside of the lacrosse head. If I wanted to use an extremely wide head why wouldn't I just faceoff with a goalie stick, might as well give me the same chance of winning. This is definitely the main turn off for this head. It needs to be pinched.


Because of this heads longish shape, it seems to give this head some great flexibility. This is absolutely a quality you need in a good faceoff head. This head is able to stand up for some beatings and depending on how rough you are maybe even last a full season. I know many faceoff guys like me would be happy to make it through a season with maybe just one or two broken heads.


Similar to the flexibility this head is very durable. You can flex the stick without worrying too much that it might just snap on you. You can take it into that scrap and know that if some xxl kid steps on it, it won’t break in two.
I feel that this heads ability to win faceoffs is smaller than any other head out on the market. I feel that many other head would make a better faceoff head than this one simply because I’m against the way the back of the throat is shaped and how much more difficult this makes it for winning. Overall i would give this faceoff head a 3/10 when it comes to specializing in faceoffs. Move this head to any other position and i feel this could be a great asset to your game, just not facing off.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


The brine vapor is a lacrosse head that came around a few years ago when brine introduced it around 03. As a faceoff head the brine vapor performed fairly well considering it had an open throat design which I feel goes against the faceoff man. As a faceoff specialist I feel that there are some changes that could be made to this head to help it fit your needs.

-Pinch the head
First thing, pinch the head, with a wide throat I always felt this hindered my faceoff ability because I didn't feel like my head was ever clamping quick enough to make it clean.

-String the pocket high
Over the years, when using a stick with a wider throat I have found it easier to win when the pocket is strung higher in the head of the stick than lower. Having it strung higher allows you to make your pocket resemble a large net which will catch anything your opponent can throw at you. Say for example he tries to laser you; a high pocket will have a better chance of catching the ball than a lower pocket.

-Tune it to your liking.
After you finish both those suggestions play around with your stick and make some adjustments to find what makes it work better for you. Play around with the strings and find how pinched you prefer that head. Now go faceoff and show the opponent how it’s done.
Overall I would give this head an okay rating or around a 6/10. After you make some of the changes then this head will be much more effective for you. Follow my blog, post your own reviews, let me answer any of your questions come back daily to find many new things.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Brine Nitrous: The Brine Nitrous has been getting many mixed reviews after its release. The Nitrous is a variation of the Matrix and in my opinion does perform better than the matrix. I feel that this stick has a lot of potential to be a very good faceoff head if you tune it to how you like it. Personally I feel this faceoff head would do best with a slight pinch towards the top of the head giving it a more narrow channel. This would allow you to have more cushion as to where you set up on the line. Your head would be narrow enough that you could clamp, top and pinch all very easily. This head could give you the best of all worlds especially if you prefer a flexible lacrosse head.

This head also gives you a wide variety of ways to string your stick since the sidewall stringing holes are not spaced like a normal head and are instead one after the other for the length of the head. Having the ability to string up your Nitrous exactly how you want also makes a huge difference in winning in losing. Obviously you don't want a tennis racket as your pocket but setting it up so you can basically have a pocket in the back of your mesh can also help you win some faceoffs. Both the Nitrous and Blade I feel can give you the best pocket within a pocket. Both have narrow channels until they reach closer to the top of the head which I feel creates a better hold on the ball when going to faceoff. They both are able to flex easily which makes the pocket very loose when facing of giving an extremely good hold on the ball as if you are able to cradle the ball with the back of your mesh. Overall I will give this lacrosse head a very good rating but needs to be tuned to your specific liking still.

I hope this helped you find the lacrosse faceoff head you are looking for.

Search here to find your head on this site.

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Lacrosse Heads and Equipment