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Goalkeeper’s Equipment

Situation 1

Is the goalkeeper allowed to wear a jersey that is grossly oversized to the point where it may act as webbing and thereby assist him in playing goal?

No. Rule Reference 303(a).

In order for the Referee to demand the removal of an oversized jersey, it must be clear that the garment is designed to provide an unfair advantage.

Situation 2

A team has two goalkeepers, both with illegal facemasks. The team captain informs the Referee that these masks are the only masks that the goalkeepers own. Should the Referee allow the goalkeepers to play with illegal facemasks?

No. Rule References 303(b) and 304(c and d).

Under no circumstances may a Referee allow any player or goalkeeper to participate without the proper headgear. In this instance, the team can either let the goalkeeper wear the legal helmet and facemask of another player or the team can play without a goalkeeper.

Situation 3

What are the guidelines regarding the wearing of a non-HECC approved form-fitted goalkeeper’s facemask?

All goalkeepers in all Youth, High School and Girls’ age classification must wear a HECC approved helmet and facemask or HECC approved combination Goalkeeper headgear. Rule References 303(b) and 304 (c and d).

A goalkeeper in the Adult age classification must wear a hockey helmet and full facemask. There is no HECC requirement, but no form-fitted masks are permitted.

Situation 4

Can a goalkeeper playing in the Youth, High School or Girls’ age classifications wear a “cats-eye” facemask?

Yes, as long as it is HECC approved. Rule References 303(b) and 304 (c and d).

There are some HECC approved goalkeeper facemasks that do have the look of a “cat’s-eye” shape. In these cases, the openings of the facemask are small enough to meet ASTM standards and do receive HECC approval. The shape of the opening is not important, it is the size of the opening that will determine whether certification is gained.

Situation 5

Are goalkeeper throat/neck protectors classified as legal equipment?

Yes as throat/neck protection is recommended. Rule Reference 303(b).

As long as they are intended for protection and do not give undue assistance in keeping goal, they are classified as legal equipment.

Situation 6

Some goalkeeper’s gloves have a “catching pocket” attachment that connects the thumb and the wrist portions of the glove. What are the guidelines when determining the legality of such a glove?

The cuff of the catching glove shall not exceed 8 inches in width and any attachment must connect the cuff portion and the thumb in a straight line. Rule Reference 303(c) and Note.

Rule 303(a) prohibits a goalkeeper from wearing any “contrivance which would give them undue assistance in keeping goal.” This cheater attachment is not necessary for the goalkeeper to be able to “catch” the puck and is designed to provide additional blocking area.

Situation 7

In younger age classifications where goalkeepers are wearing smaller leg pads, these pads may not have a boot channel and are flat the entire length of the pad. Are these pads legal?

Yes. Rule Reference 304(d).

The intent of the boot channel is to protect the foot of the goalkeeper by covering the boot of the skate. In cases where smaller goalkeepers are wearing smaller pads, this does not violate the spirit and intent of goalkeeper leg pad restrictions.

Situation 8

Can the knee strap pads on the goalkeeper’s leg pads be worn loosely and allow the goalkeeper to cover the five-hole?

No. Rule Reference 303(d).

The purpose of goalkeeper equipment is to protect the goalkeeper from injury and it is not designed to simply provide blocking area. In order to be protective, the knee strap pad must follow the contour of the leg and be worn tightly so they do not widen the leg pad and provide
additional blocking area.

Situation 9

The goalkeeper is wearing a thigh pad that is worn loosely and covers the five-hole when the goalkeeper goes into the butterfly position. What is the procedure the Referee should follow to correct this situation?

When the Referee becomes aware of the problem, they should instruct the goalkeeper to correct the problem before play continues. Rule Reference 303(d).

The thigh pad must be worn in a manner that provides protection and not cover the five-hole. In order to do this it either must be worn tightly to follow the contour of the leg or be worn underneath the pant.

Situation 10

What is the purpose of having restrictions on the size of a goalkeeper’s chest/shoulder protection?

The purpose is to prohibit a goalkeeper from gaining an unfair advantage in playing goal. Rule Reference 304(f).

The purpose of goalkeeper equipment is to protect the goalkeeper from injury and it is not designed to simply provide blocking area. There is a fine line between providing the necessary protection from injury versus gaining additional blocking area to provide a competitive advantage.

The established dimensions of this piece of equipment provides the proper protection without providing this undue advantage.

Situation 11

The Referee has been requested to measure a goalkeeper’s leg pads. Both pads have a one inch thickness of tape on each side. The goalkeeper wishes to remove this tape prior to the measurement. Should the Referee allow this action?

No. Rule Reference 303(g).

The pads must be measured in the condition in which they were used during play.

Situation 12

Is the thigh pad on a goalkeepers leg pad subject for measurement according to rule 303?

Yes. Rule Reference 303(g).

The thigh pad does have restricted dimensions and very specific mandates on how it is worn. Therefore it is subject to a measurement request by the opponent and the Referee shall make the measurement or determination regarding it’s legality immediately upon request.

Just as with a stick, the request made to measure a piece of goalkeeper equipment must be specific in which dimension they want measured.

Situation 13

A goalkeeper has been assessed a minor penalty for playing with oversized pads. What happens to the equipment?

The goalkeeper may not wear the equipment in the same condition it was when it was found to be illegal. Rule Reference 303(g).

The goalkeeper may remove and change the pads or modify them in a manner that conforms to the measurement rules.

Situation 14

A goalkeeper has been assessed a minor penalty for playing with illegal equipment. How much time shall the Referee allow for the goalkeeper to change the illegal equipment?

The goalkeeper shall be given no additional time to change equipment. Rule References 303(g) and 309(b).

When a goalkeeper equipment change is required, the game must continue with a substitute goalkeeper, temporary goalkeeper or another player.

Situation 15

There are a lot of different dimensions on goalkeeper equipment that are subject to measurement. What equipment is necessary to be able to make all of these possible measurements?

A flexible tape measure will be able to make all of the necessary measurements. Rule Reference 303(g).

Although many leagues or bodies that govern these types of measurement will have special calipers or measuring devices, USA Hockey realizes it is not practical for every official or every rink to have these tools. A simple tool like a flexible tape measure will be sufficient to be able to make a proper determination on any of the possible dimensions that may be requested for measurement.

Situation 16

Team A requests a measurement of the blocker pad of the Team B goalkeeper. The ensuing measurement shows the pad to be of legal size. Should the Referee assess a bench minor penalty to the team requesting the measurement?

Yes. Rule References 303(g).

The bench minor penalty assessed a team that requests a measurement that is not sustained applies to all equipment except the mouthpiece.

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