Is It Illegal To Hit A Goalie In Hockey? (Let’s Find Out)

Is it illegal to hit the goalie in hockey? The goalie is meant to be in his crease for most of a game. An attacking player making contact with the goalie whether inside or outside the crease could lead to an infraction. 

Hitting the goaltender inside the crease in hockey can lead to a penalty. Although incidental contact with the goaltender by an attacking player might not be punished, body checking a goalie in hockey would lead to a minor penalty for the offender. 

In this article, we will talk about all you need to know about a player’s contact with the goaltender. 

Can you hit a Goalie in hockey?

Hit a goalie in Hockey
Hitting a goalie in Hockey

You can make contact with the goalie, but not when you’re in front of the net. If you’re not in front of the net and your shot is blocked by a defenseman, it’s just hockey as usual.

If you are shooting from close range and your puck is stopped by a defenseman who has his stick between himself and the goalie, that’s also not considered interference—it’s called “screening,” and happens all the time.

There are some situations where collisions with goalies aren’t penalized: when they’re outside their crease during play; when they’ve been bumped into by other players before being hit; or if their body hasn’t made contact with yours yet.

Hitting the hockey goalie inside the crease

You can’t hit a goalie inside the crease.

A goaltender is protected by the crease, which extends six feet from each goal post and is marked by red lines. Any time a skater enters this area and he or she is deemed to be deliberately interfering with a goaltender’s ability to stop shots, penalties will be called.

The most common penalty for violating this rule is interference, but it’s not uncommon for match penalties to be issued when a player has been especially guilty in his or her actions.

Hitting the hockey goalie outside the crease

The NHL rulebook makes it clear that goalies are fair game for hits, and that you can’t lift your stick when doing so. However, to be legal, the hit must occur outside of the crease.

That means you can’t just skate up and jab the goalie in the back or side (or head!), because if it happens inside that imaginary box around him/her, then it’s an automatic penalty for roughing or charging—and sometimes, even more, depending on how hard you hit them!

In other words, if a player is skating up behind their net with possession of the puck and decides to take out an opponent who may have been closing down on them too fast without any warning whatsoever… well then maybe they should think twice before doing so again next time around!

Can you body-check a goalie?

You absolutely cannot hit a goalie. Hitting the goaltender is not only illegal but also results in a penalty shot for the opposing team. On top of that, you will be penalized for hitting the goalie!

Players cannot body-check the goalie as it can hinder the goaltender from making a save or blocking a shot. This rule helps to protect goaltenders as they are most vulnerable.

Why can’t players body-check the goalie?

When you play hockey, you are expected to be a good sportsman. Playing by the rules is part of being a good athlete. 

That is why you can’t hit the goalie (the player who guards the net) with your body or stick. It’s also why goalies have special rules that protect them when they play hockey.

You may have seen NHL games on TV where players fight each other and hit each other with their bodies and sticks. In those situations, this kind of play is allowed because it’s part of the game; however, hitting goalies isn’t allowed because it isn’t part of the game!

See Also; Is fighting allowed In hockey?

The NHL makes sure that everyone plays by these rules so that everyone has fun playing hockey games together in peace and harmony—and no one gets hurt accidentally either!

Can you lift a goalie’s stick?

Lifting a goalie’s stick might be possible when attacking or defending. But you also can’t use the goalie’s stick to hit him, trip him, get in his way or block his vision. Also, hitting the goalie when he has the puck covered is wrong. All of these are penalties too.

It is illegal to hit a goalie in hockey but only under certain conditions

It is legal to hit a goalie in hockey, but only under certain conditions. You cannot hit the goalie in the chest or head, as these areas are considered “protected space” and are off-limits. It is also illegal to hit a goalie from behind or in their face. 

While hitting the groin and knees is permissible, it’s considered bad form because it can cause serious injury.

Although these rules may seem like common sense for any sport, if you’re looking for an excuse to get out there on skates and play some ice hockey with your friends (or just show up at someone else’s game and make them feel bad about themselves), here you go!


Hockey goalies are one of the most protected players in the game. Most of this may be because it is also the hardest position to play in hockey.

However, players have strict rules to follow when making contact with the goaltenders.

Areas such as the goal crease are one of the zones on the ice that sees goalies protected. The trapezoid is also another place where goalies get some liberty.

See Also; What Is The Point Of A Trapezoid In Hockey?

Players who hit the goaltender face a chance of getting a penalty for interference. As a player, you must try to avoid making contact with the goalie or trying to block their ability to save or block shots.

So, I believe you now know why it is illegal to hit a goalie in hockey.

Found this post helpful? Please share it with your friends and hockey fans. 

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