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Laxworld Blog

Your feed of lacrosse news and information.

  • Field Hockey Skills and Drills

    If you’re searching for simple drills to improve your game, then look no further. Two skills that are essential for field hockey players to know are an on-the-move right foot shot and an aerial pass.  An on-the-move right foot shot is a key skill for shooting under pressure and an aerial pass is a necessary skill for defenders trying to quickly clear the ball. Keep reading for a breakdown of these skills!

    Katie O'Donnell Bam

    On-The-Move Right Foot Shot

    To perform an on-the-move right foot shot, you have to first make sure that the ball is not too close to your body and that it is off of your back-right foot. To perform the shot successfully, you must maintain speed, lower your shoulders, and follow through with your hips.

    To see this skill in action, click here.

    Aerial Pass

    To execute an aerial pass you have to pack in a lot of power. First, you need to be a stick-length away from the ball. Second, you need to get low, so that your release will be more powerful. Then, you must lower your right shoulder to get your stick under the ball and release!

    To see this skill in action, click here.

  • U.S. Olympic Women's Field Hockey Recap

    American FlagThis past weekend, the U.S. Olympic women’s field hockey team fell short in an upset to Germany in the quarterfinals. They had sustained an exceptional run in the first week of the Olympics, beating Argentina, Australia, Japan, and India.  However, their loss to Great Britain in the final pool play game forced them into the second seed, causing them to play Germany in the quarterfinals.

    Both teams came out strong in the quarterfinal match; however, Germany showed their dominance early on. The game began with Germany scoring just under five minutes into the first quarter off of a save made by Team USA’s goalie, Jackie Briggs. Germany then scored their second goal only a few minutes later on a reverse stick shot. Team USA continued to work the ball up the field and aggressively attack the goal. The U.S. Olympic women’s field hockey team eventually scored in the fourth quarter off of a shot taken by Katelyn Falgowski, making the score 2-1. Unfortunately, Team USA was not able to overcome their deficit and were defeated by Germany, 2-1. We want to congratulate the U.S. Olympic women’s field hockey team for their exceptional run in Rio!

  • Preparing for a MLL Championship: Q&A with Tommy Kelly

    With the MLL 2016 Championship game right around the corner, we wanted to take the opportunity to ask our very own Huntington, NY store manager Tommy Kelly some questions about being on the Denver Outlaws MLL team. Kelly is currently in his rookie season with Denver, after previously playing at Virginia. Shortly after he started playing for Denver, Kelly became the manager of the Lax World Huntington location. We are certainly thankful for Kelly’s knowledge and love of the game, as well as his dedication to growing and promoting lacrosse. Kelly not only plays but also coaches at FogoLax, where they specialize in face-off instruction. As far as this weekend’s game is concerned, we got the inside scoop on Kelly as well as some insight into the MLL. Here’s some of what he had to say:

    Q: How are you and your teammates preparing for your championship game against Ohio?

    A: Hydrating, sticking to the game plan, taking care of our bodies, preparing mentally, and trying to stay focused. We’re treating this game the same way we treat every game.

    Q: In what ways has the game of lacrosse changed since you started playing?

    A: Starting at the age of 4, I’ve been through tons of rule changes; shot clock changes and annual face-off changes. And the game has continually gotten more competitive. Playing with some of the best players on earth is a huge experience as well. I’m lucky to have played with guys I used to look up to as a kid.

    Q: What advice do you have for young players?

    A: The term “hard work pays off” is 100% true. If you find your niche and find what you’re good at and work towards it, you’re going to achieve it.

    Q: How is being on a competitive team similar to being a manager?

    A: It’s all very communication based, you have to be able to talk to people in a proper manner and work as a unit.

    Q: What pregame routines do you have?

    A: Faceoff reps before every game! I always take an electrolyte tablet before a game too, it’s kind of mental, if I don’t have it I freak out a little.

    Q: What is your most rewarding lacrosse experience?

    A: As of right now, winning two championships. One in high school with Rocky Point (NY), playing with awesome players (some of them play MLL now too) and the second in college, playing for a national championship when we won in 2011.

    Q: What is some of your favorite gear? What stick and pads do you play with?

    A: I use all STX equipment at the moment, I play with an STX Duel stick, and STX gloves & elbow pads. Cleats are either Warrior or New Balance.

    Q: What is your favorite off season activity?

    A: Snowboarding or skiing. They’re both enjoyable and relaxing!

  • Field Hockey Positions and Lineups

    This guide will break down each player position in the game of field hockey, as well as briefly cover common lineups. The 5-3-2-1 and the 3-3-3-1-1 are two of the most popular lineups we'll go over, in addition to elaborating on the roles within each formation. This guide makes playing, coaching, and watching field hockey a lot less confusing for beginners.

     

    The Positions

    5-3-2-1 Lineup
    3-3-3-1-1 Lineup

     

    Forward

    Forwards in field hockey are the offensive players. Forwards need to be explosive, able to pass quickly, and shoot. A 5-3-2-1 lineup consists of a right, center, and left forward and two inners. A 3-3-3-1-1 lineup consists of a right, center, and left forward. However, positioning varies by team.

    Right Forward: The right forward is responsible for getting into open space to receive passes from the midfielders and carry the ball up the right side of the field. They must have strong stick skills and good ball handling abilities. The right forward also crosses the ball into the shooting circle for the inner or left forward to receive and shoot.

    Left Forward: The left forward is responsible for covering the left side of the field and supporting the other forwards, as well as receiving passes in the shooting circle from either the top of the circle or the left post to shoot. The left forward typically does not carry the ball up the left side of the field, since the ball is positioned on the weak side of the stick. However, they should still have strong reverse stick skills.

    Center Forward/Striker: The center forward, sometimes referred to as the striker, is responsible for taking shots on goal. They also support the left and right forwards and cover the middle of the field. If the right forward is carrying the ball up the right side of the field then the center forward is responsible for pinching in closer to support them, and same goes for supporting the left forward. The center forward often receives passes in the shooting circle from the right forward and must be ready to deflect the pass into the goal.

    Inner: In a 5-3-2-1 formation, there are two inners. Their role is to drop behind the center forward for support.

    Midfield

    Midfielders must be dynamic athletes that are skilled offensively and defensively. They are responsible for protecting the neutral zone, passing the ball up to the forwards, winning 50/50 balls, and supporting the defense. Midfielders are typically the most physically fit players on the field, since they cover the entire field.

    Right Midfielder: The right midfielder works closely with the right defender and right forward. They are responsible for passing the ball into open space where the right forward can receive it and carry it down the field. However, if the ball is being carried up the field by the left forward then the right midfielder must pinch in to cover the open space toward the center of the field.

    Left Midfielder: The left midfielder supports the left defender and left forward. They help move the ball up to the left forward. The left midfielder must be skilled in reverse stick skills, since the ball is positioned on the weak side of their stick.

    Center Midfielder: The center midfielder is almost always involved in every play of the game. They are often the most skilled player on the field because they are responsible for initiating plays and supporting every other position on the field.

    Defense

    Defenders are strong athletes that are responsible for marking, channeling, and tackling the opposition. A 5-3-2-1 lineup has a right and left defender, often referred to as fullbacks. A 3-3-3-1-1 lineup consists of a right, center, and left defender, as well as a sweeper.

    Right Defender: The right defender is responsible for defending the opposing team’s left forward and inner. They must have a strong tackle and be able to channel the opposition away from the goal. The right defender also supports the right midfielder and forward if they have possession of the ball.

    Left Defender: The left defender’s role is to defend the opposing team’s right forward and inner. The opposition will mostly attack with their right forward, so the left defender must have a strong tackle and be able to maintain speed with the opposition to channel them away from the goal.

    Center Defender: The center defender always supports the right and left defenders, depending on which side the opposing team is attacking from. They also help defend the defensive zone from break-away players.

    Sweeper: The sweeper is a crucial player in the 3-3-3-1-1 lineup because they are the last defender before the goalkeeper. They support the right, center, and left defenders by defending unmarked players and getting the ball out of the shooting circle.

    Goalkeeper

    The goalkeeper is the last line of defense. They must have good hand-eye coordination and be able to move quickly to cover the entire goal. The goalkeeper can defend the ball with their whole body as well as a goalie stick. It is essential for the goalkeeper to communicate with the field players, since the goalie has vision of the entire field.

  • Field Hockey Stick Buying Guide

    Field Hockey SticksSearching for a new field hockey stick, but are unsure of what to get? Check out this buying guide to figure out the best sticks available for all levels of play!

    Youth

    Grays GX750 Junior Field Hockey Stick - The Grays GX750 Junior is a great stick for youth and beginner players. The composite blend of carbon, aramid, and fiberglass make the stick durable, flexible, and forgiving. The maxi toe allows for extreme power. The Grays GX750 Junior stick’s majority-fiberglass composition provides superior shock absorption and gives beginner players an easy way to control the ball.

    Beginner

    STX Stallion 200 - The STX Stallion 200 is the ultimate field hockey stick for beginners. It’s 85% fiberglass composition ensures precise and accurate play. The standard 20mm bow allows for versatility across all positions and the midi toe is perfect for beginners because it has a larger hitting surface. The midi toe also allows for powerful drag-flicks and reverse stick play for beginners. The STX Stallion 200 allows for maximum control and is super-forgiving for better shots and passes.

    Intermediate

    STX Stallion 400 - The STX Stallion 400 is the perfect stick for an intermediate player to charge onto the field in a mighty fashion. Lightweight and incredibly accurate, this stick will ensure precise shots and passes. The stick is composed of carbon, fiberglass, and aramid composite material for supreme versatility and power. The standard 22mm bow and midi toe give ultimate control for the forward attacking player. The STX Stallion 400 provides optimal precision and accuracy.

    Expert

    STX Stallion 800 - The STX Stallion 800 provides elite control and hitting power for advanced players. The stick is built of a high-carbon composite (95% carbon, 5% aramid) for maximum stiffness and hitting power. The 24mm mega bow is designed for powerful lifts and drag flicks and allows players to enhance their aerial skills. The maxi toe ensures ultimate power and the thinner toe design gives increased ball control, allowing for quick and easy movement. The Stallion 800 is the most powerful stick in the Stallion line.

    Goalie

    OBO Fatboy Field Hockey Goalie Stick - The OBO Fatboy is a high-performance goalie stick, perfect for the goalie who wants maximum shot-blocking power. The thicker stick profile features more mass for improved deflection control, but the stick is carefully weighted to keep it from feeling too heavy. The greater surface area of the hooked head shape is essential for defending and receiving. The OBO Fatboy is balanced for goalie hand positioning and allows for easy and fast movement for reliable blocking.

  • Choosing the Best Field Hockey Stick

    When choosing a field hockey stick you must take into consideration the length, weight, composition, bow shape, and toe shape of the stick, as well as your level and style of play. This guide will help every field hockey player find the stick that will take their game to the next level. Continue reading

  • Field Hockey 101

    Are you new to field hockey or want to brush up on the basics? Then this is the spot for you! This post is designed to educate players and parents on some of the most important aspects of the game; from the field, to the scoring, to the players, this is field hockey 101.

    The Game

    How many players are on the field?

    In the game of field hockey, there are eleven players on the field, including the goalie. Typical lineups include 5-3-2-1 and 3-3-3-1-1, but lineups may vary slightly depending on the team.

    What does a field hockey field look like?

    Below is a picture of a field hockey field with marks indicating where penalty strokes, penalty corners, and long-hits* are taken, as well as the 50-yard and 25-yard field lines and the 16-yard shooting circle. The field is 100 yards long and 60 yards wide.

     

    Field Hockey Field

    *Long-hits in high school are being replaced with 25-yard free hits. Click here to find out more.

    How does a game start and how are teams’ set-up on the field?

    Before a game can begin, the referees gather the captains from each team and conduct a coin toss. This is done to determine which team will begin with possession of the ball or which goal they will defend first. Then, each individual takes their position on the field, with each team set-up on opposite sides of the 50-yard line.

    At halftime, each team trades sides of the field as well as possession of the ball.

    What happens when a goal is scored?

    A goal is scored in field hockey when the ball crosses the goal line. Each goal is worth one point. For a goal to count, it must be shot or deflected from inside the 16-yard shooting circle.

    Once a goal is scored, the match is re-set and the opposing team begins with possession of the ball.

    What are common fouls?

    • When the ball hits your foot
    • Obstruction
    • Third party obstruction

    Click here to see the NFHS field hockey penalty signals.

    How long does a field hockey game last?

    There are two halves in field hockey. In high school, each half lasts 25 minutes for JV and 30 minutes for Varsity. However, collegiate and international games have 35 minute halves.

  • Choosing the Best Lacrosse Stick for Women's Lacrosse

    Choosing the best women's lacrosse stick is all about knowing your level of play, position on the field and personal comfort. This guide will help women’s lacrosse players at all levels pick their poison.

    If you’re a beginner, some things to look for:

    Intermediate players:

    • Expect to spend $50-$110 for your stick. Price is of a wider range because once you’re out of the beginner stage, it’s all about preference.
    • If you’re new to the game but starting at an older age, an intermediate stick is recommended.
    • At this level, players tend to switch to a composite shaft and mix and match heads and shafts.
    • If you’re still interested in a complete stick the Brine A1 Complete Stick, STX Crux 300 Complete Stick, deBeer NV3 Complete Stick, and the Maverik Wondergirl Complete Stick all make good choices. The heads on each of these sticks would also pair well with any composite shaft.
    • Complete women's lacrosse sticks tend to be a better deal as far as price is concerned.

    Advanced players:

    Each manufacturer has options for any level and this information is just a snippet of some of the most popular ones. The best way to find your favorite stick is to try them out in stores or borrow a friend's! As long as you are happy with the equipment you're using and it's legal, that's all that really matters!

  • STX Mesh Revolution is Here

    STX is known for creating an elite line of heads, handles, and complete sticks across men’s and women’s lacrosse for players of all skill levels. Now, they’re doing the same in a very highly contested area: lacrosse mesh. But they’re not just releasing any old mesh… they’re starting a STX Mesh Revolution.

    STX Memory Mesh

    As you know, a good piece of lacrosse mesh can mean all the difference between winning and losing. You want a piece of mesh that’s able to be easily strung, lasts extremely long, breaks in easily, and helps you shoot and pass your best. STX definitely understands this, so that’s why they’ve decided to come out with the Dry Mesh, Dry Mesh Lite, Knot Mesh, and Memory Mesh. Let’s take a quick look at what makes these pieces of stx mesh so special and why you should get your hands on them ASAP.

    The STX Dry Mesh is made for superior durability. It’s weatherproof due to the Weather Weave construction that has independent strands of nylon with a super-tough coating, keeping the fibers dry and making the life of your pocket last longer. You can also get its little brother, the Dry Mesh Lite.

    The Dry Mesh Lite is…you guessed it – lightweight. It features all of the benefits of the Dry Mesh but with an added bonus: extra ball feel. This makes it seem like it’s an extension of your own body.

    Mesh Revolution - Drymesh, Knot Mesh, and Mesh LiteGet the Dry Mesh strung onto a Stallion U 550 Head and this will make it the ultimate weapon of choice for the workhorse midfielder who needs extreme versatility. Get the Dry Mesh Lite strung onto a Super Power Plus Head for the ultimate in lightweight performance, perfect for the attackman who just wants to absolutely rip shot after relentless shot.

    The STX Knot Mesh is one of the most exciting meshes to have been released. The exclusive knotted construction delivers superior control and excellent ball feel in addition to reducing the stretch of the pocket and maintaining the consistency and reliability. Get the Knot Mesh strung onto a Surgeon 10 500 for the ultimate operating tool on the field. Precision accuracy and control are yours with this combo. Perfect for the tactical midfielder or attackman.

    The STX Memory Mesh never forgets… It’s the type of mesh that will keep your pocket better and longer. That’s not all though – the Memory Mesh is super-strong. It’s so strong it has up to 15x the tensile strength of steel! This means that you know without a shadow of a doubt that the Memory Mesh will hold its shape better and longer than any other mesh on the market. Goalies…STX didn’t forget you either. The Memory Mesh is also available for goalies.

    STX is definitely changing the mesh market with its mix between technologically superior mesh and features that will resonate with players who want that extra oomph from their equipment. Stay on the lookout for more from them. But in the meantime, head over to Lax World and pick up some of the mesh and other STX gear.

  • Finding a Good Helmet in Men's Lacrosse

    Helmets are one of the most expensive pieces of lacrosse equipment…and arguably the most essential. We definitely understand: they aren’t cheap. But your lacrosse helmet protects the most vulnerable part of your body, so how could it not be a good investment? Do you know what makes a good lacrosse helmet? Do you know the different parts of this equipment? If not, don’t worry. We’re going to be explaining exactly those things so you can find the right helmet for your particular needs.

    Lacrosse Helmet with the Correct Fit

    Is your helmet game-ready?

    All lacrosse helmets have to meet certain standards for game-ready play. The NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) requires that all helmets are made in a way that prevents them from being damaged too easily. All lacrosse helmets are stress tested in certain environments that mimic that of a lacrosse field. When you get your helmet in the mail or pick it up in a store, you can be sure that you’re getting a safe product.

    The Anatomy of a Lacrosse Helmet

    A lacrosse helmet is made out of different parts that make up an entire whole. These are:

    • The Shell – All lacrosse helmets are made out of a super-strong shell. Shells come in all sorts of colors and materials. These are made of plastic (mostly) and are non-adjustable. A good example of a helmet that’s not made of out plastic is the Cascade R Helmet in a Carbon Finish. If your helmet has a crack in it, you’ll need to replace the entire helmet. Don’t take the chance of playing with cracked safety gear.
    • Face Mask – Your face mask is made out of non-bendable metal bars and must form a consistent smooth curvature. Think of it this way… if you cut the helmet in half down the center vertically or horizontally, it should be the same on both sides. In addition to elite protection, face masks can come in all sorts of colors, not just the traditional silver or black. One great example of this is the Cascade CPX-R with a Gold Titanium face mask.
    • Padding – Without padding, the helmet would just rattle around on your head! No one wants that…at all. Padding is made of super-dense foam that absorbs sweat and moisture during play.
    • Chin Pad/Strap – The Chin Pad protects your chin from impacts and also helps to keep your helmet on your head.

    How does your helmet fit? 

    Your helmet should fit securely on your head. It should be tight and secure…but not too tight. For a great fit, you’ll need a measure of your head.

    1. Get a tape measure and measure the circumference around your head in a level line, roughly 1” above your eyebrows. If someone is able to do it for you, all the better.
    2. Hold the spot on the measuring tape where it stops and record what the measurement is. Check the helmet sizing chart to find out your size.

    Manufacturers: Who makes the best lacrosse helmet?

    Ah…the old age question: “who makes the best helmet?” Cascade makes some pretty good helmets. STX also produces some pretty fine headgear. Like most things when it comes to lacrosse, it depends on two things: need and preference.

    If you’re looking for a good youth helmet, you may want to go with the STX Stallion 100. If you’re looking for a helmet that you can easily customize, you’ll want to go with one of the Cascade R or CPX-R helmets. Speaking of customization…

    Customization

    What’s a lacrosse helmet without a little flair? You can easily trick out a lacrosse equipment to your liking. Choose what color face mask, shell, and visor you want. Cascade will do the rest. This is perfect for teams that want a uniform helmet color.

    Check out some of our custom helmets today!

    Choosing a lacrosse helmet can be a breeze. If you walk in to one of our Lax World locations, you’ll definitely be pointed in the right direction. If you’re not near a Lax World location, call us at 1-800-752-9529 and we’ll definitely be able to help you out and pick the right helmet for you.

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