Goaltender Rules

NHL Goaltending Equipment Rules

With the exception of skates and sticks, all the equipment worn by the goalkeeper must be constructed solely for the purpose of protecting the head or body, and he must not wear any garment or use any contrivance which would give him undue assistance in keeping goal.

Leg Pads:

(NEW for 2005-06) The leg pads worn by goalkeepers shall not exceed eleven inches (11") in extreme width when on the leg of the player.

The maximum length from bottom mid-point to top mid-point of the pad is not to exceed thirty-eight inches (38").

(NEW for 2005-06) The minimum length of the boot of the pad is to be no less than seven inches (7"). The boot channel of the goal pad must be flat or concave in appearance.

No attachments such as plastic puck foils are permitted.

(NEW for 2005-06) Calf protectors must follow the contour of the calf and ankle and can have a thickness of no greater than one and a half inches (1 1/2"). No raised ridges will be permitted on the calf protector that would be deemed to act as deflectors of pucks.

(NEW for 2005-06) The knee strap pad is not to exceed six inches (6") in length by five and one-half inches (5 1/2") in width by one and one-half inches (1 1/2") in thickness. The knee strap pad must be fastened to the inner risers. The total width measurement of the entire inner knee padding (pad risers) including the outer knee strap pad must not exceed two and a half inches (2 1/2") in thickness. The inner kneepads are not to exceed seven inches (7") in length, five and a half inches (5 1/2") in width. The length of seven inches (7") is measured from where the inner padding attaches to the leg pad and back to the end of the inner padding. Medial rolls (raised seam ridges) will not be permitted. All knee protection must be worn under the thigh guard of the pant.

Chest and Arm Pads:

No raised ridges are allowed on the front edges or sides of the chest protector, the inside or outside of the arms, or across the shoulders.

(NEW for 2005-06) Layering at the elbow is permitted to add protection but not to add stopping area. This layering, both across the front and down the sides, to protect the point of the elbow shall not exceed seven inches (7").

Shoulder Cap Protectors must follow the contour of the shoulder cap without becoming a projection/extension beyond or above the shoulder or shoulder cap. This contoured padding must not be more than one inch (1") in thickness beyond the top ridge of the shoulder and shoulder cap.

On each side the Shoulder Clavicle Protectors are not to exceed seven inches (7") in width. Their maximum thickness is to be one inch (1"). This protection is not to extend or project above or beyond the shoulder or shoulder cap nor extend beyond the armpit. No insert is allowed between the Shoulder Clavicle Protector and the chest pad that would elevate the Shoulder Clavicle Protector.

If, when the goalie assumes his normal crouch position, the shoulder and/or shoulder cap protection is pushed above the contour of the shoulder, the chest pad will be considered illegal.


(NEW for 2005-06) No internal or external or cheater padding is permitted on the pant leg or waist beyond what is required to provide protection (no outside or inside ridges).

(NEW for 2005-06) The maximum width (straight line) of the thigh pad across the front of the leg is ten inches (10"). If the groin and/or hip pads extend beyond the edge of the front thigh pad they are to be included in this ten-inch (10") measurement. This measurement is to be taken while the goalie is in an upright standing position. This measurement is to be made five inches (5") up from the bottom of the hockey pants.

(NEW for 2005-06) All thigh pads must follow the contour of the leg. Square thigh pads are considered illegal.

(NEW for 2005-06) All knee protection must be strapped and fit under the thigh pad of the pant leg and not exceed the ten inches (10") allowed for the width of the thigh pad.

Goalkeepers' Jerseys:

No inserts or additions are to be added to the standard goalie cut jersey as produced by the manufacturer. (Modifications at the manufacturer are not allowed unless approved in advance by the League) No "tying down" of the jersey is allowed at the wrists if it creates a tension across the jersey such that a "webbing effect" is created in the armpit area.

No other tie downs are allowed that create a "webbing effect."

The length of a jersey is illegal if it covers any area between the goalies' legs.

Catching Gloves:

(NEW for 2005-06) A maximum perimeter of forty-five inches (45") is permitted. The perimeter of the glove is the distance around the glove. (See measurement procedures below)

(NEW for 2005-06) The wrist cuff must be four inches (4") in width (height). The cuff of the glove is considered to be the portion of the glove protecting the wrist from the point where the thumb joint meets the wrist. Any protection joining/ enhancing the cuff to the glove will be considered part of the glove rather than the cuff.

(NEW for 2005-06) The wrist cuff is to be a maximum of eight inches (8") in width (this includes the bindings). All measurements follow the contour of the cuff.

(NEW for 2005-06) The distance from the heel of the glove along the pocket and following the contour of the inside of the trap of the goalie glove to the top of the "T" trap must not exceed eighteen inches (18"). The heel is considered to be the point at which the straight vertical line from the cuff meets the glove (see diagram).

Blocking Gloves:

(NEW for 2005-06) Protective padding attached to the back or forming part of the goalkeeper's blocking glove shall not exceed eight inches (8") in width nor more than fifteen inches (15") in length at any point (this includes the bindings). All measurements follow the contour of the back of the glove.

(NEW for 2005-06) The blocking glove must be rectangular in shape.

(NEW for 2005-06) The flap protecting the thumb and wrist must be fastened to the blocker and must follow the contour of the thumb and wrist. This thumb protection must not exceed seven inches (7") in extreme length when measured from the top of the blocking surface.

(NEW for 2005-06) Raised ridges are not to be added to any portion of the blocking glove.


(NEW for 2005-06) Protective masks of a design approved by the Rules Committee may be worn by goalkeepers. Protective masks deemed to be worn only to increase stopping area will be considered illegal.

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