All About Lacrosse Shooting Strings and Shooting Laces

Neon Green Lacrosse Shooting Laces

by Lax Doctor on November 20, 2010

Lacrosse shooting laces control how the ball sits in the pocket and releases from the stick. Shooting strings are vital to the quality of your lacrosse pocket and your performance on the field. Improperly strung shooting strings can cause a lot of trouble when trying to execute even the simplest of passes or shots.


Shooting Strings vs. Shooting Laces
Shooting Strings, or shooting laces as they are also commonly called, weave between the mesh.  Depending on how you would like your pocket to throw a more narrow shooting string or a thicker shooting lace may be more appropriate than the other. Typically, sidewall string or a lace resembling a hockey lace is used.

Shooting strings can be tied very tight and have very little flex. A shooting lace has much more give in the pocket. I am currently playing with a pocket with with both shooting strings and shooting laces. The shooting string I use is at the top of the stick to ensure a smooth release while the shooting laces are lower in the pocket to add ball control and increase pocket hold.

Techniques for Stringing
Shooting string are shooting laces are strung using two basic techniques. We will call these techniques the “weave” and the “roll”. From experience, I have found the weave to be a much more popular technique. Woven shooting laces are my personal preference as well.

Lacrosse Stringing Supplies Lacrosse Mesh and Stringing Supplies

A shooting string should never change the natural formation of a pocket, it should only enhance it. Your sidewall strings must be strung well enough that a pocket is already beginning to form without shooting laces.

The Weave
In woven shooting strings, the string is feed between the diamonds of the mesh. The string adds tension to the mesh. Woven shooting strings are easy to adjust by adjusting the tension on the knot at the end of the string. To add tension, pull the knot tighter and tie against the outside sidewalls. To release tension, tie the knot further away from the outside sidewall. For new stringers, it is recommended to use this technique.

The Roll
Rolled shooting laces are losing popularity. They are more time consuming to string and take longer to adjust than woven shooting strings. In a rolled shooting string, half of the string is laid on the back of the mesh across the stick while the other half is “rolled” between the diamonds and over the string on the back. A rolled shooting lace may have a smoother release however, I believe that you lose feel of the ball in the pocket.

Shooting String Theory
When I teach a new stick doctor how to string shooting laces, we compare shooting laces to a stairway. Your shooting laces should gradually transition the ball from the deepest part of the pocket to the scoop of the stick. The top shooting lace should be the tightest while the lowest shooting lace should be the loosest.

How to String Shooting Laces
We will go over stringing the two different basic techniques of shooting laces. For both types of laces you will want a string between 28 and 33 inches wide. Goalie heads require longer laces. This may be accomplished by tying two 33 inch laces together. We will have a separate post on specifically stringing goalie shooting laces.

Stringing The Weave
To string the weave start by folding your shooting string in half so that you have two separate halves.

  1. Layout a path for your shooting string
  2. Tuck the string around the sidewall string so it is connected to the stick.
  3. Begin the weave by feeding the two ends through the opposite sides of the same mesh diamond.
  4. Continue this pattern until you reach the other side of the head.
  5. Tie off the string around the sidewall string.
Video from STX on how to string lacrosse shooting strings.

Stringing The Roll
To string the roll split the shooting lace into thirds.

  1. Layout a path for your shooting lace
  2. Lay one third of the lace across the back of the mesh
  3. Tuck the other two thirds behind the sidewall string so the lace is connected to the pocket
  4. Begin to feed the lace in and out of the diamonds while wrapping around the lace on the back. You will begin to see a “roll” effect.
  5. Continue this pattern until you reach the end
  6. Tie of the lace around the sidewall string so it stays connected to the pocket.

Shooting strings take a special touch to string well. The best way to learn to string is do string and unstring a head over and over. Once you can string one head very well, move on to another head. New stringers should begin stringing shooting laces  by trying the weave. In most cases, the weave will give you the feel and control you are looking for.

Now that you have shooting string mastered Click Here to read about the different types of mesh.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

james April 9, 2011 at 7:41 am

My lacrosse stick throws down a lot. I have a string on the top and two U laces on the bottom. I play attack, any suggestions?


Y July 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm

That shooting string pattern gives the most whip (causing your throws to sink). You could try switching to 1 U and 2 straight, or even 3 straight for minimal whip. Also, if your sidewalls are very loose that could create whip


Josh July 18, 2011 at 1:33 am

try taking off a U and adding a top lace, or just loosen the top string a bit


connor June 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm

try raising the U string on ur attack stick


connor June 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm

the bottom 1


connor June 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm

and make the top 1 a strayt line


brian September 29, 2011 at 11:44 pm

I want to make the ball roll off the lip of my head but i cant figure out how to string the top strings that way.


The Lax Doctor October 12, 2011 at 12:32 am

Brian- Do you want the ball to “Click” on the scoop of the head? If the top string and top shooting string is loose the ball will hit the scoop on the way out of the pocket. Remember to keep the staircase idea in mind when stringing.


Celano October 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Wha is the best combination of U’s V’s and top strings for each positions ( D, Middie, Attack)? I need to know


JT March 12, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Ok I need help with shooting strings. I know how to string them and all, but i dont know what i am supposed to change about shooters if its throwing down or up or not a smooth release. Could someone direct me to a site of video with this info, or even put it on this site? Thanks Brosidens


woodsy March 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm

my stick throws down but when i removed the botom u string it threw better (D-polr)


declan April 1, 2012 at 11:38 am

i have 4 across and it has been the most affective for me


joey virgona April 2, 2012 at 9:20 pm

If your stick throws down, u wanna loosen your shooting strings and the opposite if it throws up. You just really need to play around with it to see which type of u’s, v’s, and the tightness of the shooting strings work the best


Drew April 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm

for womens lacrosse- I am a new goalie player and know very little about how to shop for a new head, I’ve been eyeing the STX eclipse, and the Warrior void. Any suggestions on other heads i could try? Also I’ve heard that certain coloured mesh effects the way the ball is thrown (black mesh apparently isn’t good) is this just a rumor or does coloured mesh really effect it? As of the moment i play with a STX throttle shaft, I assume the head is the same?

I am open for any pointers thanks!!


Gilli June 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Well in the unlikely event you are still looking for an answer (or for anyone else with the same question).. as a female goalie who has been playing for about 8 years; GO FOR THE ECLIPSE!! Light, strong, flexible enough but not too much, and on the “definitely legal” list for every single league and competition there is, for all ages and genders (mens and womens sometimes seem to have different specs for goalie heads), also arguably the best head on the market! Otherwise try the Warrior Nemesis, but personally I prefer the Eclipse and also it’s quite hard to find out if the Nemesis is legal for various leagues. Other heads are good but those generally seem to be the best and good value for money.
I haven’t heard anything about coloured mesh, but hard/ soft/ 10/12/14 diamond all have an effect on how well it throws (I’d go with 12 D mesh, it’s a good middle ground and the vast majority of goalies I know use it at all levels; if you want to get that bit of extra length in your passes and your stick work gets very, very good, then maybe try 14 D).
Not familiar with the STX throttle, but generally all STX heads fit all STX shafts; Warrior or another make might but then might not, so if not drill a hole where you need one but you’ll lose the warrantee on the shaft if you do that.
Hope this helps :)


phillip April 23, 2012 at 11:59 pm

which is better the 3 top lace or the 2 and V lace


Nick Rogers April 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I recently got 6 diamond mesh. It works well when it is warmer out and it creates a good pocket to pass and shoot while i’m at practice. Last night i had a game and it was pretty cold. It had too much whip and kept throwing my passes straight to the ground. I didn’t mess with anything from the one night of practice to the next night of the game but it made a big change with the weather. Any advice to fix this problem?


anthony May 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Whats the best combo if you like the feel of the ball as it leaves the head?


Jakob August 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I d use 2 u-laces, one straight lace and one nylon string up top. If you pull the straight lace tighter you get more hold in the pocket but it throws lower. And leave the lowest u-lace really loose for amazing hold.


Johnny Boy April 25, 2013 at 2:47 pm

You need to add more shooting strings or you can just hair dry the shooting strings


Noah Fow May 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm

What do shooting strings do? What do U’s, V’s, straights, and nilons do to the ball?


Austin June 2, 2012 at 11:21 pm

What is a good shooting style


Austin June 2, 2012 at 11:26 pm

I mean shooting string style^


Mitch June 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

How long do your shooting strings have to be according to HS Regulations? (Inches)


Nolan September 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Hey anybody try 4 shooters acrosse no nylon? tao from the swarm has that and has nice hold and pretty fast and accurate shot. but hes pro… soo haha anybody try that? i play mostly mid occasionally attack and i have the superpower


Jake February 24, 2013 at 6:52 am

New lacrosse head regulations have banned those U strings so u should get used to 2-3 strate shooting strings on the top.


Coop armstrong April 2, 2013 at 5:31 pm

hey I play lacrosse sense I was 5 in kindergarten but now I’m in third grade and I’m 9 years old i live in Westborough M.A. if any of you guys live near me text me back on this website.


Chris April 8, 2013 at 9:38 am

What is the best shooting string style for midfield position. The old style i had consisted of too much whip and it threw down too much. Also is there a preferred pocket a midfielder should use


Platypus April 8, 2013 at 9:52 pm

If your stick is throwing down this is called whip and you make it stop by loosening shooting strings taking out shooting strings or restringing the sidewalls. As for “the best shooter setup” it doesn’t exist that is based purely on personal preference, a popular setup is 2 Us and a strait for maximum hold or all straits for minimum whip if you have any other questions about this try going to the lacrosse forums and clicking on the link that says stick doctors lounge and you will find links to different threads about stringing a lot of which could prove helpful


Johnny Moorhead April 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm

How can i make the ball stay in longer before it leaves the head?


yashair May 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm

my stick throws up and to the side when trying to pass or shoot, should I change the U or make the shooting strings tighter


jonah May 4, 2013 at 9:53 pm

my pocket is somewhat deep but i just cant do my regular dodges now with out keeping the ball in i put hours of work and i think it might be the now im wondering what mesh to get that’ll keep good contoll for all my dodges sincerly an attack that needs help


Jackson December 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm

How do I get rid of when i throw and the ball hits the plastic?


patrick smith March 11, 2014 at 10:30 am

im middi and im trying to find out what sidewall pattern and shooting string pattern is best


Chase March 11, 2014 at 10:19 pm

I’m currently running with 2 straight laces and 1 U-lace everytime I throw or pass the ball releases at the bottom U-lace I have spend hours trying to fix it I even restrung a brand new piece of mesh in and it’s doing the exact same thing any suggestions? Thank you in advance.


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