A Weapon To Get A-Head Of The Game Taking Face-offs In Lacrosse

In the sport of lacrosse, the object of the game, just like in hockey or soccer, is to find the back of the net more often than your opponent.  So, professional players like Marcus Holman, Will Manny, Lyle Thompson and Rob Pannell gain a lot of the headlines for their scoring touch while players like Paul Rabil, Matt Rambo, Tom Schreiber, and Tommy Palasek are among their respective league leaders in assists.

But a huge part of the game of lacrosse starts at the center of the field with the face-off, one of the most unique things you will see in team sports.  There is an art to the face-off in hockey, but in lacrosse it really takes a special talent to be successful at it.   You have to be strong both physically and mentally but you also have to an important piece of equipment and that is the right lacrosse head at the top of your stick.

The “Weapon X”, created by ECD Lacrosse with input from lacrosse face-off legend Greg “The Beast” Gurenlian, is designed to give face-off specialists a flexible head that can stand up to the rigors of the face-offs. 

“The faceoff requires the head to flex in a way that no other position requires,” said Greg Kennealy, President and Co-Founder of ECD Lacrosse.  “It has to be stiff in some areas while remaining flexible and slim in others.  It also has to stand up to and entire season of flexing, twisting, and bending.  The position is the most demanding on the head and also the most reliant.”

The Weapon X is made from EDC’s FlexForm material that was designed with help from Gurenlian, who came out of retirement this past season to play in the Premier Lacrosse League after a terrific career in Major League Lacrosse with the New York Lizards.  It’s a tougher plastic with an asymmetrical strut design and optimum flex points as the head was engineered to wrap around the ball perfectly.

Having Gurenlian help ECD design the head, promote it, and announce that the head made it through an entire season is a testament to just how good the product is. 

“Partnering with Greg was always our goal for developing our faceoff head,” said Kennealy.  “He has a wealth of knowledge both about the technique and the gear.  To have the best of all time choose our brand, which is relatively new, was a huge accomplishment for us. Having him use the same head through the entire season, which he has never done, really speaks to the quality of the product we developed together.”

As the parent of a youth lacrosse player, I can attest to the amount of equipment that is needed to play and then there is always the possibility of sticks breaking throughout the course of a season.  With my son Bradley being one of the players on his team taking face-offs and knowing that the costs of equipment can add up, it’s reassuring to know that there is a head that he can use that will stand up to the physical pounding that is needed to play the position. 

And the rest of the lacrosse community has taken notice.  Generally, the face-off position has been a FOGO position meaning “face-off and then get off the field”.   But with the Weapon X, a player can go out and take the face-off and then stay on the field to be part of the offensive attack.  Other face-off heads can’t really be used effectively once the face-off is over. 

“The response has been exceedingly positive,” said Kennealy.  “Every player has their own taste and preferences, but we have gotten great feedback on the performance and durability.”

Whether it’s Greg Gurenlian, Trevor Baptiste, Max Adler, Alex Woodall or any pro, college, high school or youth lacrosse face-off specialist, you want a head that has a perfect scoop and gives you the peace of mind that you won’t be missing too many ground balls. 

The Weapon X is basically a Godsend for those lacrosse players who want to be dominant face-off specialists but also want to be able to be part of the offense.  The face-off in lacrosse is so important because winning them can help your team get extra possessions to carve out a big lead or to be able to get back into a game quickly if you fall behind by a few goals.

About the Author

Peter Schwartz

Peter Schwartz is a contributor covering the Islanders for NY Sports Day while also writing about general sports in the New York/New Jersey area. In addition to his column, Peter also hosts his “Schwartz On Sports” podcast as he interviews players, coaches, and other sports personalities. He is also currently a sports anchor for WFAN Radio, CBS Sports Radio, and WCBS 880 radio while also serving as the public address announcer for the New York Cosmos soccer club.

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