what is whip in lacrosse

What is Whip in Lacrosse and Why Does it Matter?

Usually, lacrosse doesn’t have as many terms as baseball does. Among all the terms in lacrosse, whip holds a significant role in defining how a player interacts with their stick and the dynamics of their game. So, exactly what is whip in lacrosse?

A whip is all about the degree of bend the stick pocket can have to throw the ball on the ground. It’s an essential factor in determining how the ball is thrown, caught, and shot. 

But playing with a whip is not always a good idea. Sometimes, players choose to play without a whip for a better performance. However, to learn how and when the whip works the best, you should have a clear idea of it.

Quick Summary

Whip in lacrosse is an aspect that measures the force required for the ball to exit the stick’s pocket. It impacts the shot’s trajectory, with more whip for better ball control and power.

What Is Whip in Lacrosse?

Whip in lacrosse is the force the ball needs to leave the stick’s pocket. So, it’s all about how easily the stick can throw the ball toward the ground. It is the force that determines the height or depth at which the ball is launched during a regular shot.

More whip makes it easier for the ball to go into the ground. The more whips, the more ball-holding power, and finally, the better the performance of the player.

So, whipping in lacrosse is all about how much force you need to make the ball pop out of the pocket. More whip offers better control and power, but excessive whip might cause ground-bound shots.

4 Types of Whip

This image show different types of whip lacrosse player are holding and raising

There are essentially two main types of whips based on the direction and speed at which they are thrown. But there are two other specific types that are all about what type of stick is used to create them. 

So, we can get four types where there are two categories. Let’s have a quick glance over the types before we know them descriptively.

Types of WhipOverview
Angle WhipDetermine the ball’s exit direction 
Time WhipDetermines the speed of ball release from the pocket
Traditional stick-based whipUses leather or nylon for stringing
Mesh stick-based whipEmploys mesh materials for stringing
Types of Lacrosse Whip

Now, let’s see the details of all these whips:

1. Angle Whip

This is about the direction in which the ball goes when it leaves the stick. A strong-angle whip can make the ball go high, low, left, or right. So, this whip determines in what direction the ball will be thrown.

2. Time Whip

This type determines how quickly the ball gets out of the stick’s pocket. A good time whip helps the player release the ball faster for surprise shots. Besides, it ensures a better performance for the player.

3. Traditional Stick-based Whip

When a whip is created using a traditional stick, it must be this type of whip. Even though it’s not an official type, spectators can still categorize whips using these types. 

However, traditional sticks use materials like leather or nylon for stringing. They can generate whips for players who prefer a classic feel.

4. Mesh-stick-based Whip

These sticks use mesh materials for stringing. They offer a different type of whip. Mesh sticks are popular for their consistency and durability. Whips created by a mesh stick can be faster than the previous type.

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How does the whip work?

In lacrosse, whipping is all about how a lacrosse stick helps control the ball’s trajectory when you pass or shoot it. Here’s how the whip works:

1. Controls the Ball Height 

The whip determines if the ball travels high or low. More whip means the ball goes low, while less whip makes it go higher. This can be handy for tricking goalies or defenders.

2. Determines the Stick Force Amount

If your stick has more whip, it’s easier to make the ball go into the ground. It can be a good thing for offensive players who aim to bounce the ball past the goalie.

3. Controls the Hold 

Whip and hold are buddies. More whip usually means more hold. The hold is how well the ball stays in your stick. It’s like having better control over the ball.

4. Increases Shooting Speed

The extra whip can make you shoot the ball faster, which is great for scoring goals. However, too much whip might make the ball hit the ground instead of the goal.

5. Determines Pocket Details

How you string your stick’s pocket matters in lacrosse. Pocket depth, channel shape, shooting strings, bottom strings, and pocket placement all contribute to the whip. Experimenting with these factors can help you fine-tune your whip.

So, a whip simply controls the ball’s path in a match. More whip means lower shots and increased hold, while less whip results in higher shots. The player’s stick’s pocket design and the type of whip he chooses depend on his playing style.

Know the Importance of Whip In Lacrosse

Whip matters in lacrosse for many different reasons. It affects how the ball moves when thrown or shot. Thus, it determines the performance of the player. 

Let’s know why whipping is so important in lacrosse:

  • A whip can boost the strength and precision of your throws, and more whip means your shots can be swifter and more on target.
  • An additional whip helps you keep the ball in your stick’s pocket, which means you can retain possession on the field.
  • Offensive players, who aim to penetrate the defense, need a whip as it empowers them to release potent shots that are challenging for the goalie to block.
  • It is essential to manage goalies and defenders too, as they look for less whip for better control and long-distance passes. 

So, the whip is a very essential aspect of lacrosse, as it simply enhances throwing power, accuracy, ball retention, and offensive prowess.

7 Ways Whip Influences The Game

Now, you must think about what affects the whip in lacrosse. Indeed, learning the factors will help you create better whips in the future. However, here are the facts that usually affect whips:

1. Player’s Performance

A player’s strength and shooting technique can determine how perfect the whip will be. With more strength and accurate technique, a player can create more power while shooting and finally create more whip.

2. Pocket Depth

The depth of the stick’s pocket and how deep the ball sits are essential when it’s about the whip in lacrosse. A deeper pocket tends to make the ball release with more whip, while a shallower pocket results in less whip.

3. Channel Width

The channel is like a narrow groove in the pocket. So, like the pocket, this part also affects the whip in the sport. A narrower channel adds more whip, while a wider one reduces it.

4. Shooting Strings

These are the strings at the top of the pocket. The stiffness of the string can sometimes determine the whip. Tighter shooting strings mean more whip, while looser ones mean less.

5. Bottom Strings

The strings at the bottom of the pocket also matter in this sport. Like the shooting strings, tighter bottom strings provide more whip, while looser ones give less.

6. Pocket Placement

The location of the pocket in the stick is essential in this case too. It needs to be placed in the higher part of the stick for a better whip. A higher pocket placement increases whip, whereas a lower one decreases it.

7. Player Position

The position of the player also matters in determining the whip in lacrosse. Offensive players often prefer more whip for faster shots, while goalies and defensive players might opt for less or none to maintain better control and execute longer passes.

How to Add Whip to a Lacrosse Stick

Adding a whip to a lacrosse stick is essential in this sport. You can follow these simple steps for that:

  • Make the pocket shallower by tightening the bottom string for less whip. Loosening it can create a deeper pocket for more whip.
  • To increase the whip, tighten the shooting strings, starting from the top and working down. Keep them loosest at the bottom and tightest at the top for better ball control.
  • A narrower channel increases the whip, while a wider one reduces it.
  • Raising the pocket gives more whip, while lowering it decreases the whip.

You should remember that the whip preference varies for each player. Too much whip can lead to inaccurate throws. So, you should find a comfortable balance for consistent shooting and passing.

How to Make Your Whip More Effective

To make the whip in your lacrosse stick more effective, you can follow these steps:

  1. Try different stringing patterns and techniques to find what works best for your style.
  2. Adjust the tightness and positioning of your shooting strings to get the best whip adjustment on the stick.
  3. Modify the placement of your pocket and raise it to create more whips while lowering it to reduce whips when necessary.
  4. Modify the channel to make it narrower for more whip and wider to lessen it.
  5. Spend time on the field cradling, shooting, and passing to get accustomed to your adjusted whip.
  6. Consult experienced players or coaches for guidance and feedback on your stick’s whip. 

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Whip vs. No Whip: Which is Better for Your Game?

Should you go for a whip or no whip? Well, the preference for whipping a lacrosse stick varies from player to player, and there is no universally better choice in this case. 

It depends on your playing style, personal comfort, and specifically the situation in the sport. You should learn the basic pros and cons of whipping to understand what you should do.

Improved control in cradling.Potential for inaccurate passes
Enhanced accuracy in shooting.Difficulty in ground ball pickups
Added power to shots.May require adjustments in gameplay.
It is easier to change shooting angles.No angle control
Whip vs no whip- comparison

As you see, a whip can be advantageous for players who want more control when cradling, shooting, or passing. 

It helps generate extra power and accuracy in shots. But, too much whip can lead to inaccurate throws and difficulties in ground ball pickups.

Players who prefer no whip usually value a quicker release and more versatility in their gameplay. A stick with no whip can make it easier to catch and throw with precision.

Ultimately, it’s essential to find the right balance that suits your individual skills and style. 

While practicing, you can experiment with playing with and without a whip to what is more effective for you.

Final Thoughts on Lacrosse Whipping

Properly knowing what is whip in lacrosse can save you from using it in the wrong way at the wrong place. 

If you are a beginner, just remember that your technique, strength, position, and stick adjustment are all that can determine the whip.

Also, the wrong adjustment of the whip can make your performance more challenging in the match. 

So, you should first learn how to adjust the whip and effectively release it. Hopefully, it will help you improve your throwing technique in Lacrosse.

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