Goals Against Average is a statistic used in field hockey (as well as ice hockey, lacrosse, water polo, soccer (football) and other sports with a goalie) that is used to put a goalie’s number of goals allowed into perspective with their total playing time.
It is intended to give a measure of how many goals the goalie allows per unit of regulation game time.
It is considered one statics among some other ones, including win/loss ratio and save percentage that are used to help measure a goalie’s capability.
In field hockey, goals against average (GAA) calculates as follows:
Goals Against Average = (goals against x game length) / minutes played.
If a goalie has been in net for 954 minutes, has allowed 25 goals in that time, and regulation time for the league they play in is 70 minutes per game:
25 goals against times 70-minute game length is 1,750.
1,750 divided by 954 minutes played is 1.83
Therefore, the goalie’s Goals Against Average (GAA) is 1.83
What counts as a “Goal Against”?
In field hockey, a “goal against” is a goal that occurs while the goalie is assigned the position of the goalkeeper.
If the goalie is not on the field of play at the time when the goals happens, a goal against the team does not count against the goalie’s GAA.
Rules for what qualifies as a goal can be found with the International Hockey Federation (other leagues with alternative rules may have different scoring regulations).
What counts as a “Minute Played”?
Each minute that the goalie is an active player in a game is counted as a “minute played.”
What is “Game Length”?
Game length varies depending on the league.
Field Hockey matches have a game length of 70 minutes (2 halves of 35 minutes). Recreational leagues may have shorter halves.
- Wikipedia – Goals Against Average (GAA)
- FIH – Official Site
- Wikipedia – Goalkeeper
- NCAA- Individual Goals Against Average Statistics