Dimensions of a Hockey Net – Hockey Goal Dimensions in 2023

Posted on March 24, 2023 by Dan Kent
ice hockey goal size

Interested to know what the official regulation ice hockey goals are that are used in all top leagues like the NHL or AHL?

What is the width and height of hockey goal?

Hockey net dimensions are 6 feet tall by 4 feet wide. The opening of the goal is 72 inches (180 cm) wide by 48 inches (120 cm) tall, and the footprint of the goal is 44 inches (110 cm) deep. The net is built on a metal tube frame, often called the goalposts and crossbar, while the mesh net to capture hockey pucks is made from a high-quality nylon.

Are hockey goals smaller?

The hockey net is one of the smallest nets you'll see in professional sports. In comparison, while the regulation size hockey goal is 6 feet by 4 feet, a soccer goal is 16.5 feet by 21 feet, while the uprights of an NFL endzone are 18 feet 6 inches wide.

Has the size of the hockey goal changed?

Although the NHL increased the size of the goal crease in 1951-1952, the size of hockey goal has gone unchanged since the NHL has been around. Of note, we'll speak on differing sizes in the goal prior to the NHL later in this article.

The size of the net has come under scrutiny as well, notably from NHL coaches which state that goalies have become much larger, but nets have stayed the same size. This is a topic for another article, but certainly one that has merit.

What is the standard size of regulation hockey goal post?

Hockey goalposts, which are two vertical side posts that form the structure of the hockey goal, are often 2 inches in diameter. The horizontal crossbar, the post that runs to connect both vertical posts, is also 2 inches in diameter.

Buying Hockey Nets

If you’re looking to buy a hockey net for your yard or driveway, you can expect to pay between $200-300 USD for a mid-range net. It won’t be made of professional grade steel like those you see in a hockey rink, but you don't rally need that.

Having your own net is a great way to practice target shooting and learning to aim. Make the most of your on-ice time by developing your skills in between practice sessions.

You can click here to see my favorite net and the one I recommend to every player or parent looking to buy.

Saucer Kits

If you’re looking for an alternative to a large net or don’t have space at home for one, try a saucer kit which is a small net and training aid – which is great for shot and pass practice.

Check out my review of the best hockey training aids on the market.

History of Hockey Goal nets prior to the NHL

Hockey goals haven’t always been the standard 6′ x 4′ (foot) that we know from the NHL today.

Rocks (0-1800s)

The earliest hockey goals weren't made of steel posts and definitely didn't have any sort of netting. Instead, they were simple zones created using large stones.

The goals faced the sides of the ice surface rather than the ends. Since there was no net covering the posts, the goal tender could be scored on from either side, or from front and back, which ever way you wish to consider it. BirthPlaceOfHockey.com

Two sticks ( 1890 )

Up until the 1890’s the goal in a hockey game was simply two sticks jammed into the ice. An umpire behind the net would wave a handkerchief as a signal if a puck crossed the goal line between the two sticks.

Early pipe net ( 1895 )

Regulation Hockey Goal Size

Then sometimes in the mid-1890s, hockey borrower and idea from ice polo – and slapped two gas pipes together connected by a horizontal bar up top to add stability. Netting was added to capture the puck and make it easier to retrieve. This net was made by 2 by 4’s making it square compared to today’s nets that are wider than they are tall.

Square net ( 1899 )

By the end of the 19th century, the pipe net first developed by Halifax hockey teams become very popular. By December 1899 they had been adopted by the Montreal hockey teams and then spread across the country.

Puck capture ( 1928 )

In the same year that this footage was captured, a goal with a semi circle design was unveiled which helped to capture the pucks – preventing them from bouncing back out into the field of play.

Official Rink Size

While nets are now standardized across all hockey games, the size of the rink itself is dependent on the league. The NHL has its set size which every teams rink must comply with while Olympic and international tournaments use a larger ice surface.

Read more about it over on my guide to hockey rink ice size.

Dan Kent

About the author

Growing up in a hockey hotbed (Calgary, Alberta. And yes, I'm an Oiler fan), I decided to put my love and knowledge of the game to work. I started at five and am still playing today into my early 30s. By acquiring Brave Stick Hockey and rebranding it to Big Shot Hockey in 2023, I plan to teach people about this great game and educate them on the best equipment and history of the game. On a career level, I am in finance, running one of the largest financial websites in Canada, Stocktrades.ca.

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