What’s That Call: GOAL or No Goal?
Goal! Everyone knows what a goal looks like, right? Well, maybe not. At a recent tournament, I saw the puck bounce off the back of the net and pop back out of the goal. The referee didn’t call a goal or no goal — in fact, he didn’t event seem to notice. This happened twice that weekend, leading me to believe that the puck had to eventually land on the ice to count. Later, I found out the real problem: The referee actually did not see it happen. And with the puck back in play, the scoring team had no proof they scored.
This got me thinking — what is actually considered a goal? And what isn’t?
What you need to know about goals vs. no goals: To count as a goal, the puck needs to entirely cross the red line in front of the net. Usually, the puck is hit in by a player’s stick, but it might also bounce off a player on offense or defense on the way to the net. (It cannot, however, bounce off an official.) Even if the puck goes in, the referee can call no goal if the offensive player kicks the puck with a skate, hits the puck with a hand, hits the puck with a high stick, or is in the crease. The referee (the official with the orange arm bands) makes the decision about goals, not the linesman. Pointing at the net indicates a goal while the “washout” symbol indicates no goal.
What else is there to know? For example, if the net is dislodged or the goaltender is interfered with, it’s no goal. You can find other details on pages 69–70 of the 2007–09 Official Rules of Ice Hockey booklet available at www.usahockey.com (pdf).
To see it in action, keep your eyes on the referee in this video:
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Kelly Kordes Anton for this article.
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