What Is The Crease In Hockey?

With tons of terminology in the game of hockey, it can be tough to keep up with all the definitions. This is why this article is on hand to break down everything you need to know about the crease in hockey.

A crease in hockey is the blue shaded area right in front of the net. This area of the ice is where the goalie spends the majority of their time and also marks the area in which a player may not interfere with a goaltender.

Dimensions Of The Crease

The width of a crease in the National Hockey League is eight feet. A hockey net is six feet wide meaning that the crease is one foot wider than the net on either side.

At either side of a National Hockey League crease there is a four foot straight line that leads out to a semi circle. This semi circle makes up the top of the crease and connects the two four foot lines that set the width of the crease.

At the top of the semi-circle the crease measures a total of six feet from the goal line. This means the width of the crease is eight feet and the length of the crease is six feet at it’s furthest point from the goal line.

Keep in mind that these dimensions are those of a crease in the National Hockey League, youth leagues or hockey leagues in other parts of the world may use different dimensions for their creases.

Rules Of The Crease

The crease in hockey comes with its own set of rules that must be obeyed if you want to avoid a penalty.

In the NHL players are allowed to go into the goal crease but they must be sure to not make contact with the goalie. Making contact with the goalie inside the crease is not allowed and will result in a goalie interference penalty.

If a goal is scored and a player made contact with the goalie in the crease prior to the puck going in then you can expect the goal to get called back for goalie interference.

Previously the NHL rules did not allow a player to enter the crease at all. This resulted in one of the most notorious goals of all time by Brett Hull in the Stanley Cup finals.

When in the crease defensive players also have some rules that they must abide by. For example if a defensive player is in the crease he or she is not allowed to grab, conceal, or cover up the puck with their body.

If this is done by the defensive player the opposing team will be awarded a penalty shot.

If you are in the crease as an offensive player make sure to steer clear of the goaltender. And if you are in the crease as a defensive player make sure to leave the covering of the puck to the goalie.

Where Did The Name Come From?

The reason that the small blue area in front of a goalies net is called a crease is quite an interesting story. Back in the early days of hockey they did not have the equipment to accurately mark the ice.

This means there was no paint being put onto the ice in order to mark areas like face off circles, center ice, or the crease. Since they could not put paint on the ice they had to find a different way to mark it.

To do this hockey players would use hockey sticks or skates to mark a crease into the ice. This crease would be made in front of the goalies net and would let players know they are not able to enter that area of the ice.

Leave a Comment