No Red Lights: Hockey: Situational Rules vs All the Time Rules: - Goalie News And Instruction By Roxanne Gaudiel

Situational Rules vs All the Time Rules:

Goalies by nature tend to live by one dominant personality type: control. They are either in control of the game, their play or their net. To have this control, many setup personal rules which dictates how they play. This is important so that the goalie can play a disciplined game, and this disciplined game is what leads the goalie to "that next level." The next level is something that coaches talk about all the time. It is one of those ambiguous sayings that is can only be recognized in a transcendant, eureka moment -- i.e. It's hard to say why, but you just know that goalie has "it." They've gotten to that next level. A strong example of a goalie getting to that next level by having rules/discipline and, even more importantly, the ability to distinguish any exceptions to those rules.

An example of such rules is the positioning of a goalie relative to the net. Now, I do not mean if they are on their angle generally speaking, but I am talking more in terms of their aggressiveness. As an all-the-time rule, a goalie should be as aggressive as possible. This is generally accepted as coming out of your net and cutting down the angle. But tell that to a young mite or squirt goalie, and they might come out to the hash marks. That's waaaayyyy too aggressive! I've found that around the PeeWee age, the goalies begin to understand that there are limitations to their aggressiveness. They begin to make distinctions between what is aggressive, what is too aggressive and what is not-aggressive. The goalies that get to that next level distinguish between these All the Time Rules and the Situational Rules. For aggressiveness, it is a question of when to be aggressive.

All the time rules:
These rules should always be follwed (to the best of your ability). They include, but are not limited to:

1. Stick on the ice
2. Hands in front of your body
3. WATCH the puck***the most important rule!!
4. Cover the puck as quickly as possible

Situational Rules
There are far more situational rules than all the time rules. This is why many different styles are successful-because there are so many factors involved in stopping picks. Here are just a few situational rules:

1. Always play at the top of your crease. By keeping your skates "outside the paint," you will challenge yourself to be very aggressive and cut down the angles.
*** exception: Plays when there are fowards are to the side or behind you. When players are behind you (i.e. if they get the puck, you will not be in-between the puck and the net), they pose a significant risk. You should back up so that if the pass is made, that player is still in front of you.
*** exception: Behind the net play. Immediately after a player crosses the goal line (going from behind the goal line to above the goal line), the goalie should still stay on their post until that player gets to a certain angle (approximately 30 degrees from the goal line). This is because stepping out to cut off the angle does not add any additional benefit. Even on the post, at this angle, the goalie still covers the same amount of net than if they had stepped out.

I argue that it is this distinction and recognition which elevates the goalie's play and allows them to make it to that next level. This is the distinction between all the time rules and situational rules.