get one thing straight: goalies, no matter how much players wish they
were, are not “fair game”. You
cannot hit a goalie whether or not the goalie is in his crease or outside
the crease going after a puck. Granted,
most referees will allow a little bumping with the goalie when the goalie
is in the corner going after a puck, but if an attacking player hits that
goalie down to the ice, then there is a good chance that this player will
receive a penalty for “Goaltender Interference”.
a goalie is hit in the crease with a bit too much force, the referee will
most often go with a Major plus a Game Misconduct as the rule states.
If the goalie is hit outside the crease then the referee will have
an option to either call a minor penalty or a Major plus a Game
Misconduct. Referees will
always consider the intent of the player checking the goalie as well as
the force of the hit when assessing the penalty.
If the hit was solid, sending the goalie flying, then the referee
is more likely to go with a Major plus Game Misconduct in order to keep
control of the game.
you look at it from a referee’s perspective, he really has no choice but
to call this penalty or else for
the rest of the game the victimized club will be going after the other
goalie. Furthermore, anyone who has ever seen a hockey game will notice
how the players protect their goalies like they were made out of glass.
As soon as the goalie catches or falls on the puck, the goalie’s
teammates form a wall around him and will not let an attacking player even
you really think about it, the goalie is wearing the most equipment out of
any person on the ice. He has
thick pads that can stop 100+ mph shots, a chest pad that runs down his
arms and can practically stop a speeding bullet, and a facemask and helmet
that makes him look like he is getting ready for a Medieval Joust.
Finally his gloves are made with extra padding so that a shot
doesn’t hurt his hands and his skates have more protection than
players’ skates do. So why do players protect the most equipped player
on the ice?
the golden rule of hockey, “Protect your Goalie”. That is the way it
has always been and it is safe to predict that it will stay that way
referee gets very upset with a player who hits a goalie. It causes a chain
reaction among players on the ice and can change the whole mood of a game.
Consider the consequences of either calling or not calling a penalty on
such a play. And while you are reading, keep in mind that a referee must
take everything into consideration instantly and make a decision that he
hopes is the correct one. If another player does hit a goalie, one of two
things will happen.
1) If the referee does not call a penalty when the goalie gets hit.
a. The players on the goalie’s team will try to
fight the player that just hit the goalie and this can lead to a potential
brawl. Not only on this
stoppage but later on in the game when any player comes around the goalie
b. The team will try and retaliate by going after the
other team’s goalie by either running him over or by constantly jabbing
at him with their sticks. This
can also lead to headaches for the referee because this also causes a
potential for a brawl.
c. The bottom line is that if the goalie is hit with
enough force to deserve a penalty, and the referee does not call it, then
this referee has just made it a tough game for himself to officiate.
Now he must deal with the teams trying to run each other’s goalie
at every possible chance.
2) If the referee calls the penalty when the goalie gets hit.
a. He will gain the respect of both teams because now
the teams know that they cannot run or hit the goalies without being
assessed a penalty. This will
keep the players away from the goalies and make for a smoother flowing
b. The goalie will become the referee’s best friend
for the remainder of the game, and sometimes his only friend.
You will often see referees and goalies talking on stoppages of
play. This is because the
goalie is probably the only player on the ice who still likes the referee
because he is out there protecting him. Another reason why goalies and referees get along so well is
that sometimes they both feel like they are alone with no friends within a
c. If the referee calls a penalty against one team
but not the other team for doing the same rough tactics on the goalie then
the referee will lose all the respect from both teams and may be in for a
long rough game filled with many fights or scrums. Therefore, what is good
for one goalie will be good for the other.
for a second think that referees are just out there to protect the
goalies. Referees will only protect the goalies who do not antagonize
opposing players by sticking or slashing them in the back of the legs
while play is going on. If a
referee sees a goalie constantly trying to stir up the pot throughout the
game, the next time a player slashes or bumps the goalie, there will
likely be no call for the simple fact that the goalie got what he
don’t get upset at the referee for letting a slash or bump go against
the goalie who has been antagonizing the other team.
Remember to look at what your goalie has been doing before he
received a slash. This is another one of those game management techniques
that are learned from experience. Some times a referee simply has to look
the other way.
rules clearly protect goaltenders. Any player who uses his stick or body
to physically contact or interfere or prevent the movement of a goaltender
will receive a minor penalty for Goaltender Interference.
decades, attacking players have been bumping goalies in an attempt to get
then off balance so that it is easier to score on them, or to get the
goalies concentrating on the players bumping him instead of on stopping
the puck. This along with players charging and hitting goalies is
probably the number one incident that can turn a good, clean game into a
game filled with fights and scrums.
referees will look for players who bump into goalies or stand in their
crease in an attempt to limit the goalie’s mobility to stop the puck. These players will be assessed minor penalties for
interfering with the goaltender because it calms the goalie down and it
shows the teams that the referee will not allow these cheap tactics to try
and score a goal.
most common interference with a goaltender occurs when the goalie comes
out of his crease in order to cut down the angle and give the shooter less
net to look at or score on. When
the goalie ventures from the net the attacking players pounce on the
opportunity to get in the goalie’s face and try to distract the goalie
from his number one job of stopping the puck.
will see attacking players stick out their legs or use their sticks to
clip the goalie’s legs, thus putting him off balance giving the shooter
a better opportunity to score. When the goalie is out of his crease it is
tougher for a referee to call a penalty for goaltender interference
because the goalie may have moved into the path of the player and not vice
versa. So, how can a referee
penalize a player for going where he was going and in essence a goaltender
interfering with the player?
is a simple thing that referees look at in these situations.
Did the player try to avoid the goaltender at all costs?
If the player did try to avoid the goalie, but still made some
contact, then there will most likely not be a penalty assessed.
if the player kept going directly for the goalie and made contact with the
goalie without trying to avoid him, then the referee’s hands are tied
and he must call a penalty. This
is because if a goal is scored and the referee did not call a penalty,
then the team scored on will cause havoc for the rest of the game by
trying to interfere with the opposing team’s goalie.
hardest part for a referee in this situation is to determine if the player
made an adequate attempt to avoid making contact with the goalie.
Players, as they grow older, get to be very sneaky.
They make it look like they tried to avoid the goalie but in actual
fact they still clipped or bumped the goalie on purpose.
Players will often try to jump out of the way but they don’t jump
quite far enough so that a part of their body still makes contact with the
will argue about being interfered with as soon as they are bumped, but the
referees are looking at the one key issue. Did the player making contact
with the goalie try to avoid the goalie at all costs?
thing that referees have to deal with is looking at attacking players who
are larger than the defensemen that are trying to clear them out of the
front of the net. These forwards will often use the defenseman to hit
their own goalie. They will
push the defenseman into his own goaltender, causing the goalie to fall or
go off balance. This is still
interference because the intention of the player was to get the goalie off
balance or impeder the movement of the goalie. Referees are thus left with
the hard job of deciding if the attacking player meant to interfere with
the goalie. It is almost like
they have to read the mind of the player, which isn’t always easy to do!
STANDING IN THE CREASE
much controversy occurs anytime a player of the team who has just scored
is standing anywhere near the goal crease of the team scored upon.
stated, if the puck goes into the crease first, the entire attacking team
can crowd into the crease to try to direct the puck over the goal line. If
one or more players are in the crease before the puck, and if, in the
opinion of the referee, the position of the players may have interfered
with the goaltender’s ability to stop the shot, the goal will be
the fact that a player has a skate in the crease is not enough for a goal
to be called back. However, a player standing beside the goaltender inside
the crease would be different. In fact, not only would the goal be called
back, but the player in the crease would likely be given a penalty for
issue of players in the crease has been a huge topic in the NHL over the
past few years, and is the main reason why they cut off the edges of the
semi-circle (crease) in front of the net.
Below is a description of the differences between the NHL and Minor
creases. The only difference, as you will see, is the width.
NHL GOAL CREASE
next time you have a chance to watch an NHL game, look at the goal crease. The crease extends 1 foot out along the goal line from each
goal post and then it extends straight out towards the other end of the
ice for 4 feet 6 inches. The
top of the crease is similar to the minor hockey crease in that they use a
6-foot radius to draw a rounded line at the outer edge.
The NHL crease is 8 feet wide (4 feet on each side of the centre of
MINOR HOCKEY CREASE
Minor Hockey crease is similar to the NHL crease except that it is 12 feet
wide (6 feet on each side of the centre of the net).
The Minor Hockey crease still uses a 6 foot radius from the centre
of the net to make its dimensions. Furthermore,
for the purpose of the goal crease,
the 2-inch dark lines along the border are considered part of the crease.
SCORES!!! OR DOES HE???
goal will be allowed if a player of the team scoring a goal was standing
in the crease before the puck entered the crease or the goal.
You would think that this is a fairly simple and self-explanatory
rule, but it still causes various debates and arguments across the world
of hockey on almost a daily basis.
referee generally must put up with an argument that a player was standing
in the crease whenever there is a player even close to the crease.
The goalie is usually the first player to pose this argument, and
granted sometimes they have a valid argument, but other times they just
argue in the hopes that the referee will change his mind. This very rarely
A REFEREE IS LOOKING FOR
referee will disallow a goal if a player of the attacking team was
standing in the crease of his own will (not pushed into the crease by a
defending player) and this player impeded the goalie from making a save.
If a player has one skate in the crease and is using his stick or
body to get in the way of the goalie’s movements then a Referee will
most likely not allow the goal because once again the player was impeding
the progress of the goalie. Not
only will the goal not be awarded, but also to add salt to the wound, the
player interfering with the goalie may receive a penalty for his actions.
if a player has both of his skates in the crease and is standing there
when the puck enters the net, the Referee may disallow the goal even if
the player did not impede the goalie from making a save. In this
situation, the player is making it too obvious for the referee to allow
the goal because he has both skates inside the crease and there is no
defending player holding him in there.
in hockey has been diminishing over the past couple of decades and
therefore a referee may not want to disallow a goal for a player with one
skate in the crease who is not bothering the goalie in any manner.
The referee is more likely to disallow a goal if a player has both
skates in the crease (who was not pushed into the crease by a defending
player or who is not being held in the crease by a defending player) or
who is impeding the goalie from his duties.
factor that a referee has to put up with is the fact that when a goal is
scored with a player with one or two skates in the crease, the referee
must first be able to see this situation, as there are usually other
players obstructing his view, and the Referee must also make a judgment as
to whether or not the attacking player went into the crease of his own
will. Quite often the defending player will push the attacking player into
the crease in the hope that the Referee will disallow the goal.
takes a lot for a referee to disallow a goal. In minor hockey there is no
instant video replay to back up the referee, therefore a decision must be
made immediately. Whereas the referee must watch the puck at all times
when it is around the net, unless there is an obvious case of a player
being inside the crease, interfering with the goaltender, a goal scored
will usually be allowed to stand.
a referee does disallow a goal, there is no point in yelling at him. He
certainly wouldn’t do it unless it was clearly justifiable, even if the
fans didn’t see it his way.