Athletic tape is a vital piece of lacrosse equipment. Players have been using tape to give their sticks more grip for years. When alloy shafts were the only ones available, tape added grip to otherwise smooth metal sticks. Now that many players use textured, composite shafts, tape mainly helps players with proper hand placement. For attackmen and midfielders in men's lacrosse, here is a guide on properly taping your stick so that you can quickly identify where to place your hands on it.
Most Attackmen and Midfielders: Tape for Cradling, Passing and Shooting
Generally, attackmen and midfielders tape their sticks in three spots:
- near the top of the shaft
- two-thirds of the way down the shaft
- at the bottom of the shaft
The tape at the top of the shaft will help you identify where to place your hand when one-handed cradling. It will keep your hand from sliding their hand onto the plastic head, which reduces the control you have. This tape cannot actually touch the plastic head, per the 2013 and 2014 NCAA Lacrosse Rules and Interpretations, but it can be as close to the head as possible without touching it.
The tape that is placed most of the way down the shaft and at the bottom of it should be placed where your hands go when shooting and passing. This will help you quickly transition from a cradle to either a shot or pass during games.
Crease Attackmen: Tape for Quick Moves
Attackmen who primarily play around the crease modify the above taping slightly. If you often make flashes on the crease, consider these alterations. First, the top-most ring of tape should not be changed, and it still cannot touch your plastic head.
Second, move the middle ring up the stick, from about two-thirds down the lacrosse shaft to only one-third down it. When shooting from the crease, power is less important than quickly getting a shot off. Therefore, your hands will be further up the shaft most of the time.
Finally, a few crease attackmen wrap a lot of tape around the bottom of their stick. This does not actually shorten their stick, which cannot be less than 40 inches according to NCAA rules. It shortens the useful part of the shaft, however, so players can catch and release slightly faster. If you want to try this taping strategy on a stick, wrap a half roll of tape around the bottom three or four inches of the shaft.
Faceoff Midfielders: Tape for Hand Placement
Faceoff specialists should adopt a taping method that suits their hand placement. Because everyone who takes faceoffs uses different moves, their specific taping methods will vary. In general, faceoff midfielders will have tape further up their shaft than all other players. They primarily need grip for the faceoff, not for shooting or passing. If you take faceoffs for your team, put a ring of tape where you place your hands before going down.
Like all other short sticks, faceoff specialists cannot have tape touching the head of their stick. The NCAA rulebook emphasizes this rule for players who take faceoffs, however, because it would be especially advantageous to have a taped head when playing this position. Their uppermost tape must be a bright, contrasting color, making it easy for referees to see a gap between the tape and the lacrosse head.
Tape Your Lacrosse Shaft
Just as there numerous ways to string the head of a lacrosse stick from sites like http://www.breakawaylacrosse.com/, there are a variety of different strategies for taping its shaft. Think about how you primarily use your stick, whether for passing and shooting, quick moves on the crease or faceoffs, and tape your shaft accordingly.