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Goal Net

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When buying a hockey goal net, there are several considerations:

  • The standard size ice hockey goal net is 6 feet wide by 4 feet high by 44 inches deep. The uprights and crossbar are made of steel and the whole thing weighs about 100 pounds.
  • For a backyard ice rink, consider a lighter “practice” net that is 6 feet wide by 4 feet wide, but only 18 to 24 inches deep. These weigh around 60 pounds each. The uprights and crossbars are the same thickness as in the regulation net, but the pipes in the rear of the frame behind them are both shorter and thinner.
  • The standard size goalmouth for inline, roller, and street hockey is also 6 feet by 4 feet. The nets, though, tend to weigh 40 pounds or less. Because the pucks and balls used in these variations of the game are much lighter than the solid rubber ice hockey puck, the net can be less sturdy. The pipes are thus much thinner than in ice hockey nets.
  • For floor hockey (indoor hockey played on a gym or basketball floor), a net with a 6x4 goalmouth weighs about 32 pounds. One measuring 4x4 (for smaller kids) will be about 24 pounds. Look for models with inserts that will protect a wooden floor from scratching.

All the weights quoted above are for rigid models made of steel piping.For inline, roller, street, and floor hockey you can consider lighter-weight, but less durable models made of aluminum or thinner steel pipe. You also can consider portable models that fold or are easily assembled/disassembled. The tradeoff is that portability reduces durability.

Substituting any of these lighter nets (whether portable or not) is not advisable for ice hockey, except for use by small children. The heavy ice hockey puck not only will damage these easily, but also will send them flying.

In ice hockey, a regulation net in competitive play is anchored with two magnetized pegs that are placed in holes in the ice. You can ignore this for backyard use. Even a practice ice hockey net should be heavy enough to stay in place when hit by a puck.

For shooting practice, consider getting a target that fits across the goalmouth. This is either a rigid board or a tough fabric (like nylon or canvas) with holes cut in strategic spots. The shooter practices putting the puck (or ball) through these holes.

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