This rule is based on the premise that an attacking Player’s position, whether inside or outside the Goal Crease, should not, by itself, determine whether a goal should be allowed or disallowed. In other words, goals scored while attacking Players are standing in the Goal Crease may, in appropriate circumstances, be allowed. Goals should be disallowed only if:
- an attacking Player, either by their positioning or by a "relevant contact”, impairs the Goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within their Goal Crease or defend their goal; or
- an attacking Player initiates intentional or deliberate contact with a Goalkeeper, inside or outside of their Goal Crease.
“Incidental contact” with a Goalkeeper will be permitted, and resulting goals allowed, when such contact is initiated outside of the Goal Crease, provided the attacking Player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.
For purposes of this rule, “contact / relevant contact” whether "incidental or otherwise", shall mean any contact that is made between or among a Goalkeeper and attacking Player(s), whether by means of a stick or any part of the body. The overriding rationale of this rule is that a Goalkeeper should have the ability to move freely within their Goal Crease without being hindered by the actions of an attacking Player.
If an attacking Player enters the Goal Crease and, by their actions, impairs the Goalkeeper’s ability to defend their goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.
If an attacking Player is in the Goal Crease and does not leave immediately, the Referee has the possibility to stop the game and the subsequent “face-off” shall take place at the nearest Neutral Zone Face-off Spot outside the Attacking Zone of the offending Team.
If an attacking Player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending Player so as to cause them to come into contact with the Goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking Player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking Player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.
If a defending Player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by an attacking Player so as to cause the defending Player to come into contact with their own Goalkeeper, such contact shall be deemed contact initiated by the attacking Player for purposes of this rule, and if necessary, a penalty assessed to the attacking Player and if a goal is scored it would be disallowed.