What is the Goalie Crease in Hockey?

Hockey is a fast-paced, exciting sport that requires a unique set of skills from its players. One of the critical elements of the game is the goalie crease, a designated area of the ice that only the goaltender is allowed to enter. This article will explore the history, dimensions, rules, and technology related to the goalie crease and its impact on the game and the league.

The goalie crease, also known as the goal crease or the crease, is a rectangular area of the ice in front of the goal net. It is defined by two red lines that extend from the goal line and a semicircle at the top of the crease. The crease serves as the goalie’s domain, where they can use their body and equipment to stop the puck from entering the net.

What is the Goalie Crease in Hockey?

History of the Goalie Crease

In the early days of hockey, there were few rules governing the players’ actions. Goalies were often subjected to physical abuse, as opposing players would try to knock them down or prevent them from making a save. This led to the development of the goalie crease, which was first introduced in the 1920s.

The original crease was much more minor than the current version and was marked with a simple white line. It was in the 1950s that the NHL began to use the red lines that define the crease today. Over the years, there have been various changes to the size and shape of the crease, as well as the rules governing its use.

Dimensions and Characteristics of the Goalie Crease

The current size of the goalie crease is 8 feet wide and 4 feet deep, with a semicircle at the top with a radius of 6 feet. The wrinkle is in front of the goal net and extends out from the goal line by 3 feet. The markings on the ice are designed to make it clear where the crease begins and ends and to indicate the area where the goalie is allowed to play the puck.

The purpose of the crease is to protect the goalie from interference and to ensure that they have a clear area to make saves. The goalie is the only player allowed to enter the crease, and if an opposing player enters the crease and interferes with the goalie’s ability to make a save, it can result in a penalty.

Rules and Penalties Related to the Goalie Crease

Players and officials must follow several rules and penalties related to the goalie crease. Interference with the goalie in the crease can result in a two-minute forfeiture for the offending player. If a player intentionally enters the crease and prevents the goalie from making a save, it can result in a penalty shot for the opposing team.

Penalty shots are one of the most exciting moments in hockey, as it gives one player a chance to score against the goalie with no other players on the ice. The goalie crease plays a crucial role in penalty shots, as the goalie must stay within the crease until the opposing player touches the puck.

Offside calls can also be affected by the goalie crease. If an attacking player enters the crease before the puck, it can result in an offside call and a faceoff outside the offensive zone.

Goalie Crease Violations and Challenges

Disputes over calls related to the goalie crease are not uncommon in hockey. Over the years, there have been several controversial incidents, such as when a player is pushed into the crease by an opposing player or when a goal is disallowed due to goalie interference.

These incidents can significantly impact the game and the league, and it is up to the officials to make the correct call based on the rules and regulations. Advances in technology, such as video review and instant replay, have helped to reduce the number of incorrect calls and increase the accuracy of the game.

Goalie Crease Technology and Innovation

The goalie crease has also seen its fair share of innovation and technological advancements. Goaltending equipment has evolved to provide the goalie with better protection and more flexibility. The crease markings have also been improved to make it easier for officials to make calls.

Video review and instant replay have become crucial tools in ensuring that the correct calls are made on the ice. With the ability to review footage from multiple angles, officials can make more informed decisions and reduce the number of missed calls.


In conclusion, the goalie crease is an essential part of hockey. It is a protected area for the goalie to make saves and prevents interference from opposing players. The history and evolution of the crease and the rules and penalties related to its use demonstrate its importance in the game.

Advancements in technology have improved the accuracy and fairness of the game, and future developments in goalie crease technology are sure to be exciting. The goalie crease is a critical aspect of the game that ensures the safety and success of the goalie and the team.


What happens if a player enters the goalie crease?

A player who enters the goalie crease and interferes with the goalie’s ability to make a save can result in a two-minute penalty for the offending player.

Can a goalie leave the crease during play?

Yes, a goalie can leave the crease during play in certain situations. The wrinkle is the painted area in front of the goal, typically where the goalie stays to defend the net. However, sometimes, a goalie may need to leave the crease to play the puck or participate in the play.

For example, a goalie may leave the crease to play the puck behind the net or to make a pass to a teammate. In addition, if the opposing team has pulled their goalie in favor of an extra attacker during a power play or late in the game, the goalie may leave the crease to try to prevent the opposing team from scoring an empty-net goal.

Why is the goalie crease significant in penalty shots?

The goalie must stay within the crease until the opposing player touches the puck in a penalty shot, providing a clear area for the player to attempt a shot.


Hi, myself Adam John a professional athlete. I love to see sports and always want to find out sports-related all news on my blog. I wish this blog gives you all types of sports news.

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