A goalkeeper is someone who protects a team's goal. There are goalkeepers in sports like football (soccer) and ice hockey, for example. The goalkeeper's mission is to prevent the opposing team from scoring a goal. Goalkeepers normally wear more protective gear than other players on the team but this is not always true.
A goalkeeper's kit (or uniform) consists of shin guards and gloves to protect his hands from the impact of the ball when he catches it.
Historically, however, until the 1960s goalkeepers would wear no hand protection.
Until the early 20th century, the goalkeeper would often wear the same coloured strip as his teammates, with the only different item of clothing being his cap. However, in 1909, the Scottish Football Association took steps to ensure the goalkeeper would wear a different colour from the outfield players. This was to show his different role, as the only player allowed to handle the ball.
The goalkeeper in ice hockey (a Goalie) uses thicker padding than the other players on the team. This is to prevent damage caused by being hit by the puck. The hockey stick of the goalie is much wider than the stick of other players. The bottom edge is also longer and flatter. The goalie has a very large leather glove on one hand. This glove has a large area to help catch the puck. Goalies normally wear masks that give protection to the entire face and head as well as the neck.
In field hockey, the goalkeeper stands in the goal net, and stops the other team scoring. Goalkeepers need a lot of kit to protect them from the hockey balls that are hit at them. here is a list:
- Helmet - Protects the head and face
- Neck guard - Protects the neck
- Breastplate - Protects the body, and sometimes back
- Elbow pads - Protect the arms. Sometimes breastplate and elbow guards combine to form all-in-one
- Smock - An extra large shirt that covers the breastplate and elbow pads, or the all-in-one
- Gloves - Protect the hands. Right glove has a hole in it to hold the stick
- Box - Protects the groin
- Shorts - Protect the thighs and upper bottom
- Shin guards - Protect the lower legs
- Kickers - Protect the feet
- Stick - Acts as an extra reaching tool for dives
Goalkeepers are the only position in hockey allowed to kick the ball. If another player kicked the ball it would be a foul.
- The Museum of Goalkeeping Charting goalkeeping throughout the history of football.