From: Kay Whitmore, Manager, Hockey Operations
Subject: Pad Height Specific
At the beginning of the Goalie Specific initiative my goal was centered on the need for size specific goalie equipment for each individual player. With the completion of the proper sizing of the upper body and pants a year ago the focus has shifted to proper sizing of the goalie pads.
With so many changes in goalie pad design over the years, like the flat front, no break or extreme boot scoop angle; it has become extremely obvious that the cloth tape method of measuring the pads length from top middle to bottom middle has become antiquated. No true standard exists. Measuring practices have fallen well behind the design curve. The league's 38 inch maximum pad length has been exploited for some time. Combine this with some goalies’ ever increasing desire to “play bigger” and have longer pads, it is no wonder the delicate balance between the shooter and the goalie has been threatened.
Currently no standardized method of pad measurement exists. Goal pads present a varying degree of complexity when measuring to determine the "length" of a pad. There is no consistency between manufacturers. Measuring two pads with the same “label” size from different manufacturers will return an inconsistent range of sizes. There is no independent uniform method to measure the "real" length of a goalie pad. Each manufacture makes their pad differently and for such each has a different method of measurement and corresponding pad length. The time has come to rewrite how the industry interprets “Goalie Pad Size”. Progressive novel thinking has resulted in a new measuring method and device. This will put everyone (goalies; manufactures; league authorities; and the general public) on the same page. There will be no gray areas. The new sizing method is a completely new concept. Not to be confused with “Goalie
Pad Length” since each goalie and their manufacture of choice relate well to their current understanding of goalie pad length.
The new methodology involves a new term – Limiting Distance Size. This term does not interfere with nor is it intended to interfere with or displace existing relationships people have with pre-existing goalie pad measurement. The new term does however represent a fixed value for each goalie and pad manufacturer to design to and compete within a predetermined permitted top height of a pad above the ice surface. The convenience and simplicity of such a method will reduce confusion and notably increase efficiencies within the Organization for compliance purposes by the authorities; officials; players; and manufactures.
As the industry evolves the Limiting Distance Size will eventually become a common and integral part of fair play in all levels of competitive hockey where goalie pad size limitations are scrutinized. No longer does the manufacture’s “goalie pad size” measurement apply. Rather the League will provide a maximum Limiting Distance Size for each goalie. The goalie’s pads will then be manufactured to comply with this value which will be verified by a standard method of measurement on a standardized calibrated device approved and certified by the League. The measurements will be performed on the Limiting Distance Gauge. An official calibrated and certified device will be available through the League to ensure a standard for all measurements at any venue where inspections or measurements may be required. Primarily, it is recommended that all professional hockey arenas and manufactures of goalie pads obtain and have on site at least one device to ensure compliance with the League’s requirement. Others will follow.
The NHL viewed by many, sets the hockey standard. This new method will gain acceptance into other leagues and establishments over time. Organizations, such as AHL; ECHL; CHL; IHL; SPL; Major Junior-CHL; OHL; QMJHL; WHL; Olympics and European teams governed by IIHF; etc. that also scrutinize and regulate their standards will eventually adopt this method to assist with their own means of governance of a goalie pad limit. Furthermore sporting goods stores, educational facilities, and likely the competitive goalie will ultimately employ the Limiting Distance Gauge as a common device for pad size compliance. The new standard will be set.
In order to set this standard a system must be implemented.
The system needs to be consistent; simple; and easy to implement.
1) Goalie Specific Measurements (GSM) - based on biological data obtained through individual physical measurements of each goalie performed by the League.
2) Goalie Specific Size (GSS) - based on League approved formula applying GSM.
3) Limiting Distance Formula - determined by League.
4) Limiting Distance Size (LDS) - a value obtained by applying the Limiting Distance Formula and used on the scale as the value of conformity not to be exceeded.
5) Limiting Distance Gauge (LDG) - a novel device for determining a goalie pad’s actual top distance above the playing surface.
6) Limiting Distance Reading- a number on the scale of the device.
7) Compliance Labeling - applying the LDS value (expressed in inches) on the manufacture’s label in addition to or in place of the existing “Pad Length” label currently in use so as to be easily read.
8) Verification of Compliance Form – certificate signed by NHL authority; manufacture; trainer; goalie to acknowledge the LDS pad compliance at each juncture.
9) Training for use of the above items with League instruction on implementation of this system.
10) Supplementary information for reference i.e. Instruction manual; training manual.
In this new method, a limiting distance above the playing surface is established and measured with the Limiting Distance Gauge (LDG) to accurately determine the "real" height of a goalie's pad as it relates to the overall prescribed goalie specific size. The limiting distance will provide a no nonsense "defined line" method of pad height determination that is indisputable.
Using the two leg measurements of each goal tender, the limiting distance size can be ascertained.
The first measurement from the floor to the centre of the knee [Part A] is added to 55% of the knee to pelvis measurement [Part B]. After consultation with the NHLPA it was determined that having a goalie's pad length come 55% of the way between the knee and pelvis was adequate to provide maximum protection of the
knee area. After adding 55% [Part B] to the floor to knee measurement [Part A] we add a 4 inch allowance for the goal skate [Part C]. Upon testing it was found the height of the average skate is 4 inches.
From this we can derive the following formulas:
Goalie Specific Size (GSS) GSS = Part A + (55% of Part B)
Goalie specific measurements provide data required for Part A and Part B above in determining GSS.
Limiting Distance Size (LDS) LDS = GSS + Part C
The number on the scale of the LDG (Picture attached) is reconciled with the goalie's corresponding allowable Limiting Distance Size approved by the NHL. I believe this type of system and method can be implemented easily through standardization of what distance distances are measured, how they are determined and how they are measured.
It should be noted that any similarity between the Limiting Distance Size and an individual manufacturer’s current size is merely a coincidence. The challenge for each company is to figure out how their current sizes and models will compare to the Limiting Distance Size. Once current sizes can be matched to the appropriate LDS the new method will become easier to understand. Remember, I am not asking you to throw away years of pad sizing techniques but to merely adapt them to a new way of thinking that provides goalies with a proportional fit.
I have attached two charts to try and give some direction in this regard. The first chart uses the floor to knee measurement to determine the lower pad size pattern for each goaltender. After establishing the lower pad size, the second chart determines (where we apply the 55% factor) the amount of thigh rise an individual is allowed. As most models come in a "plus" one sizing this must be factored in when calculating the upper portion of the pad. Please note there are two separate charts for the lower pad pattern to account for extreme boot scoop angles and regular boot scoop angles. Please use the appropriate one for each of your models. These charts are not exact but are provided merely for some guidance. Through some trial and error you will be able to establish your own comfort level with the new system.
As I mentioned earlier I have attached a picture of the Limiting Distance Gauge (LDG). It is currently in production and I hope to have them for all of you very soon. I have also attached a list of all the goalies and measurements that I have measured to date. With your help we can continue to add to this list by garnering the two necessary measurements. All measurements will be checked by NHL Hockey Operations to make sure they are accurate.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me. As usual your co-operation and patience is appreciated. I will be attending the PHATS/SPHEM conference in Florida from June 13-17th which will provide a great opportunity to discuss this topic.