Goals Against Average measures the average number of goals the goalie allows for each regulation game. It is adjusted for the minutes the goalie plays.
A lower GAA is a sign of a goalie that allows few goals during a game. A higher GAA is a sign of a goalie that allows too many goals during a game.
Goals against average is commonly used in ice hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, water polo. It can be used in other sports with a goalie such as Bandy, Handball, Netball, and Floorball.
Formula – How to calculate GAA
GAA = (Goals Against ÷ Minutes Played) x Regulation Game Length in Minutes
- “Goals Against” are the number of goals recorded while the goalie is in play. Include all goals against during regulation and overtime play. Do not include goals against during a shootout or when the net is empty.
- “Minutes Played” are the total number of minutes played by the goalie. Include overtime play. Do not include the time the goalie is playing during a shootout, or when the net is empty and the goalie is not in play.
- “Game Length” is the regulation game length in the league the goalie is playing. The most competitive hockey and lacrosse leagues are 60 minutes of regulation time. Field hockey is 70 minutes. Water polo is 28 minutes. Soccer is 90 minutes. Junior leagues have less regulation time than the most competitive leagues.
A goalie is in net for 637 minutes, allows 32 goals in that time, and regulation time for the league they play in is 60 minutes per game.
32 goals against ÷ 637 minutes = 0.050235
0.050235 times 60 minutes per game = 3.0141
This goalie’s Goals Against Average (GAA) is 3.01.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you calculate Goals Against Average
Divide “Goals Against” by “Minutes Played” then multiply that number by the number of minutes of regulation time in a game (usually 60 minutes, minor leagues may be less).
What sports use goals against average as a statistic?
Ice Hockey, Field Hockey, Soccer (Football), Lacrosse, and Water Polo are the most popular sports that use GAA as a statistic. Any sports that has a goaltender can use the goals against average statistic.
How long is league regulation time?
Ice Hockey & Lacrosse: 60 minutes. Field Hockey: 70 minutes. Soccer: 90 minutes. Water Polo: 32 minutes (28 for NCAA). Junior leagues usually have a shorter regulation game time.
Sources and more resources
- Wikipedia – Goals Against Average (GAA), Goalkeeper, Goaltender, Goalkeeper (Association Football), and Goaltender (Field Lacrosse) – Wikipedia articles on goaltending in various sports.
- Official rules for the NHL and IIHF (Hockey), IFAB and FIFA (Soccer), FIH (Field Hockey) and FINA (Water Polo).