A stand-up Goalie?
January 1, 2004 9:28 AM   Subscribe

Why doesn't an NHL hockey team hire a morbidly obese man as a goalie? He could just relax on his side in front of the goal, covering up the entire goalframe. Hockey goalies are incredible athletes, but is my "proposal" unthinkable? Are there not men big enough, or are there rules that say a goalie must stand, not lie down?
posted by edlundart to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total)
There is a maximum jersey size.
posted by teg at 9:57 AM on January 1, 2004

Response by poster: Ah... thanks. I looked up goalie-rules but didn't think there'd be a max size for the clothing. I suppose the jerseys cannot be made of spandex.
posted by edlundart at 10:03 AM on January 1, 2004

Pro hockey players can place the puck anywhere they want.

I played goalie in college and they could routinely place shots over my shoulders, 6 inches below the bar.

Most goals don't slide on the ice into the goal, they are airborne.
posted by Argyle at 10:15 AM on January 1, 2004

Per the NHL rulebook, the goal is a four- by six-foot rectangle. I don't think you'll ever find a person of dimensions to cover every square inch of that rectangle through bulk alone. (If nothing else, they'd leave a gap over a shoulder, next to their ankles...somewhere.) Note also that altered uniforms, including a specific mention of "over-sized jerseys", are not allowed. The goalie's stick must meet specific measurments. Goalies "must not wear any garment or use any contrivance which would give him undue assistance in keeping goal"--that link has very finely detailed specs for goalkeeping equipment. So a morbidly obese guy plus a bat-winged jersey, oversized epaulets and clown ruffles on his skates would not be allowed.
On your last pondering...if a team refuses to play, they can get a delay of game penalty, fines or even a forfeit. There's a chance that if a coach sent out a big, blobby guy to just lie in the goal crease, and the guy really was doing nothing else, the referee could construe it as a delay of game under this rule, and the team could be penalized. But if the guy stuck up a glove once in a while to cover that over-the-shoulder gap, who knows? This is all just idle, idle speculation, of course. My personal prediction is that if it were ever tried and then ruled to be legal, the NHL would update its rules to ban it.
posted by gimonca at 10:31 AM on January 1, 2004

Apparently other people have pondered the same thing, including the band Atom and His Package, who have a song "Goalie" about it.
posted by gimonca at 10:46 AM on January 1, 2004

I always thought that goalies should be genetically engineered to be the exact dimensions of the goal. Without doing that, I don't think you're going to find a guy big enough to cover the whole goal.
posted by Orange Goblin at 11:18 AM on January 1, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for those links, gimonca. Funny. I guess beyond the jersey size issue, the consensus is that no dude is big enough to cover the goal. But people seem to get fatter and fatter. Maybe one day...
posted by edlundart at 11:30 AM on January 1, 2004

Oh the Jersey size issue, rules or no rules take a look at Patrick Roy from teh 1980's and today. Someone said "nowadays goalies are carrying picnic tables around with them" (paraphrase).
posted by Space Coyote at 12:11 PM on January 1, 2004

Along the same lines, I wonder why Manute Bol has not been hired to block field goals in the NFL.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:22 PM on January 1, 2004

Even if it were possible, I would think the reason to not do it is that it would destroy the point of the game. Hockey's supposed to be a contest of skill.
posted by orange swan at 10:09 PM on January 1, 2004

Stan, because he would be broken in half by a lineman on the very first occasion he got on the field. Talk about your human twigs!
posted by billsaysthis at 11:12 PM on January 1, 2004

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