Lacrosse is a sport that requires players to be proficient in several skills, including catching, throwing, and ground ball pickups. But for faceoff specialists, a crucial skill is the ability to win faceoffs. Winning faceoffs is not only about quick reflexes and good technique, but also about having the right lacrosse stick. In this article, we will discuss how to choose the right lacrosse stick for faceoff specialists.
What is a faceoff specialist?
A faceoff specialist, also known as a “FOGO” (Face-Off, Get-Off), is a lacrosse player who specializes in winning faceoffs. In lacrosse, faceoffs occur at the beginning of each quarter, after each goal is scored, and after certain penalties. During a faceoff, two opposing players face each other at the center of the field and try to gain possession of the ball.
The faceoff specialist’s job is to use their skills, technique, and athleticism to gain control of the ball and get it to their team’s offensive players. They often have specific techniques and moves that they use to win faceoffs, such as the clamp, the rake, and the counter-rake.
Faceoff specialists are typically highly specialized players who focus primarily on faceoffs and may not play in other parts of the game. They are often substituted out immediately after winning or losing a faceoff, as their primary job is to gain possession of the ball and then allow other players to take over on offense or defense.
What are the key features of a faceoff lacrosse stick?
In lacrosse, the faceoff stick is a specialized lacrosse stick used by the faceoff midfielder during the game’s opening faceoff and any other faceoffs that may occur during the game. Some of the key features of a faceoff lacrosse stick include:
- Shorter length: Faceoff sticks are typically shorter than regular lacrosse sticks. The length of a faceoff stick can vary, but it is usually between 36 and 42 inches.
- Stiffer shaft: A stiffer shaft provides more control and stability during the faceoff. This allows the player to get a better grip on the ball and make more precise movements.
- Flatter head: The head of a faceoff stick is flatter and wider than a regular lacrosse stick. This design allows the player to get a better grip on the ball during the faceoff and control it more easily.
- Pinched throat: The throat of a faceoff stick is often pinched, which means it is narrower than the rest of the head. This design allows the player to get closer to the ball during the faceoff and gain more control.
- Lightweight: Faceoff sticks are typically lightweight, which allows the player to move quickly and make precise movements during the faceoff.
- Strong grip: The grip of a faceoff stick is designed to provide maximum control and stability during the faceoff. Some faceoff sticks have specialized grip patterns or materials to help the player maintain a strong grip on the stick.
Overall, the key features of a faceoff lacrosse stick are designed to provide the faceoff midfielder with maximum control and stability during the opening faceoff and any other faceoffs that may occur during the game.
What are the different types of faceoff lacrosse sticks?
There are two primary types of lacrosse sticks used for faceoffs in the game of lacrosse: the traditional faceoff stick and the specialized faceoff stick.
- Traditional Faceoff Stick: This type of stick is similar to a regular lacrosse stick, but the head is typically narrower and has a more flexible scoop. Traditional faceoff sticks are designed to allow players to get a better grip on the ball during faceoffs, which can help them win possession. Some popular traditional faceoff sticks include the STX Duel II and the Maverik Tank.
- Specialized Faceoff Stick: These sticks are specifically designed for faceoff specialists, with features that allow for greater control and leverage during faceoffs. They typically have a narrow head, a shorter shaft, and a specialized pocket. Some popular specialized faceoff sticks include the ECD DNA, the Warrior Burn FO, and the StringKing Mark 2F.
What should I consider when choosing a faceoff lacrosse stick?
When choosing a faceoff lacrosse stick, here are some things to consider:
- Head Design: The head of the lacrosse stick should be designed for faceoffs, with a flat scoop and a narrowed throat to provide a better grip on the ball. Some popular faceoff heads include the Warrior Blade, the STX Duel, and the Brine Clutch Elite.
- Flexibility: A faceoff stick should be flexible enough to provide good control over the ball, but not so flexible that it can’t withstand the rigors of faceoffs. A good rule of thumb is to choose a stick with a flex rating of 2 or 3.
- Shaft Length: The length of the shaft is a personal preference, but most faceoff specialists prefer a shorter shaft to allow for more control and maneuverability during faceoffs. A popular length is around 30 inches, but some players may prefer a longer or shorter shaft.
- Weight: The weight of the stick can affect your performance during faceoffs. A heavier stick may be more durable, but it can also slow down your reaction time. Look for a stick that is light enough to provide good control, but heavy enough to withstand the demands of faceoffs.
- Grip: The grip on the stick is important for maintaining control over the ball during faceoffs. Many faceoff sticks come with a grip already installed, but you can also add your own grip tape to customize the feel of the stick.
Ultimately, the best faceoff lacrosse stick for you will depend on your personal preferences and playing style. It’s a good idea to try out different sticks before making a purchase to see what feels best for you.
In conclusion, choosing the right lacrosse stick is crucial for faceoff specialists. When choosing a faceoff lacrosse stick, consider the weight, flexibility, length, shape, and size of the stick, and whether a traditional or specialized stick is right for your needs. By selecting the right stick, you can improve your faceoff skills and give your team a better chance to win possession and ultimately the game.