Subject:      Goalie Tips for beginners
From:         Dave Jones <>
Date:         1997/12/18
These are what I consider the most important objectives of the goalie,
listed order of priority.  You will notice that I consider blocking the
three row less important than the other objectives.  Beginning goalies
should consider these the Five Commandments and follow them religiously.

1.  Block the Slop.  Your skills won't get you far if every ball coming
your falls into your hole.  Be ready for a deflected pass, as well as
the shot, from the opponent's five row.

When the opposing goalie has the ball your defensive movement should be
slower at least until you feel the ball on your men or see it in your
area.  Move smoothy, do not jump or flinch.  Find a point for your
visual focus on the imaginary line between the ball and your goal so you
can peripherally see both the ball and the goal without looking directly
at either.

2.  Control Loose Balls.  You should control every ball coming into the
goalie area (usually off the back wall) or at least influence it so it
does not go directly to the opposing forward.

3.  Clear the Ball.  Scoring the point from the nets is the ultimate
clear but it is not your objective.  A pass to your forward is ideal.
You must at least get the ball past the opponent's three row.  Even if
the opposing 5 row blocks it, with the right speed on the ball it will
bounce back to your partner's 5 row.  That often means that you should
not try to hit the ball as hard as possible and you should sometimes
clear the ball in the direction of a wall rather than toward the hole.

4.  Block the Goalie.  Coordinate your defense with your forward
(usually with zones) or adjust your men to fill gaps left in your
forward's defense, especially the area between the second and third man
nearest you on the five row.  A number 2 zone defense should be worked
out ahead of time for certain shots or anytime the first zone defense
does not work well (If the other goalie beats your zone twice then
change defenses.  In choosing the first zone defense the forward will
usually tell you whether he wants you to block either the short or block
the middle and long.  If the defense is good it will take an exceptional
shot for the other goalie to score.

5.  Block the Three Row.  Scout your opposing forward for telegraphs,
for shot selection, timing and execution, for trick shots and quick
shots.  Watch for rule violations by the forward like distractions, too
much time and resetting.  See what defenses work for others.  Get advice
from knowledgeable players you trust.

If you break these commandments you are doomed to burn in goalie hell.