Goals Against Average is a statistic in used in lacrosse (as well as ice hockey, field hockey, water polo, soccer (association 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 lacrosse, 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 180 goals in that time, and regulation time for the league they play in is 60 minutes per game:
180 goals against times 60-minute game length is 10,800.
10,800 divided by 954 minutes played is 11.32
Therefore, the goalie’s Goals Against Average (GAA) is 11.32
What counts as a “Goal Against”?
In lacrosse, 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 happen, 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 Federation of International Lacrosse (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 counts as a “minute played.”
What is “Game Length”?
Game length varies depending on the league.
Lacrosse matches have a game length of 60 minutes (4 quarters of 15 minutes). Recreational leagues may have shorter halves.
- Wikipedia – Goals Against Average (GAA)
- FIL – Official Site
- Wikipedia – Goalkeeper (Lacrosse)
- National Lacrosse League – Player Stats
- NCAA – Men’s Lacrosse Individual Statistics – Goals Against Average