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Let me preface this question by stating that I'm a youth hockey ref, and we don't have video goal review in our games.

I had a situation the other night where a shooter fired a shot from about midway up the inside of the circle nearest to me, it hit the post nearest to me, and bounced out at an angle of (about 60 degrees) to the other side.

Approximate Path of Shot

For me, standing at the goal line (probably 2-3 ft from the post it struck) it looked like it had completely crossed the goal line before bouncing out. I signaled a goal, and of course the coach argued emphatically that it wasn't a goal. His argument was that it was "physically impossible for it to hit the side post and bounce out in the opposite direction" and still have completely crossed the goal line.

So, my question is whether or not this is physically possible. In this particular situation, the goal post is itself wider than the goal line by probably almost an inch, so my suspicion is that, if it hit the inside corner of the post, it could bounce out at the angle we saw and still have completely crossed the line.

Obviously, this seems like it would be extremely rare, so whether or not I made the correct call is totally different, but I'm wondering about the physical potential for this to have happened.

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In the picture, it's coming from the top and then leaving to the right? And the post is round? – Raystafarian Dec 21 '13 at 23:50
Well, it's coming from the front, and leaving to the right. My picture isn't the greatest. – jwir3 Dec 23 '13 at 5:47
I meant the top of the picture, not above the net. It's a fine graphic! – Raystafarian Dec 23 '13 at 10:45
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The goal line on a standard rink is 2" and the dimensions listed on for the diameter of a goal post is 2-3/8". Given a flat shot with the puck diameter of 3" and assuming that the dimensions were the same on the rink you were on, I think it would be impossible for the puck to hit the post and come out while completely crossing the goal line.

The only part of the post which is completely in the net is the last 3/8ths and for the puck to hit that part while being completely over the line and ricochet out, it would have to be shot from inside the net.

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Thanks for the measurements, that makes perfect sense. – jwir3 Dec 23 '13 at 6:22

If the puck hits the goal post, it is physically impossible to go inside the goal post. It hit the goal post!!

Suppose it did go inside the goal post for a fraction of a second. It would have to have crossed the line - this is impossible if it hit the goal post first, because you don't mention it crossed the line.

If it hits one goal post first, slides to the next goal post, and then goes inside, then it is a goal.

Therefore, it is safe to say that hitting the goal post does not count as a goal.

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This isn't a very clear answer. My question was whether it could cross the goal line, so that of course wasn't given in the explanation. – jwir3 Dec 23 '13 at 5:49

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