Location, location, location
Despite their vast salaries, professional hockey players value a diminutive sliver of real estate above any other. It measures 4 feet high by 6 feet wide, stands on ice, and is not for sale. These are the dimensions of a regulation hockey net, the tiny expanse or promised ice at either end of a hockey rink.
A most regular visitor
Wayne Gretzky found the back of hockey nets across the U.S. and Canada an astonishing 894 times over his illustrious 20-year career, earning a touch of immortality and the nickname "The Great One". Had he been less successful, this deifying moniker would likely be lavished upon another, and Wayne would probably be known as little more than "a very handsome Canadian man" as the punk rock band Goldfinger dubbed him in a tongue-in-cheek song in 2002.
Any aspiring hockey player likely knows the dimensions of a regulation hockey net; it's one of those intricacies of a sport that players pick up when trying to explain their game in scientific terms. Golfers illustrate the difficulty of their sport by pointing out its often futile objective: to put a 1.68-inch ball into a 4.5-inch cup. Basketballers are quick to tout the precision required to throw a 10-inch ball through a horizontal 18-inch hoop. Baseball players are rarely impressed, forever issuing the challenge to hit a 3-inch ball traveling 95 miles per hour with a 2 3/4-inch round stick.
Perhaps your child's insistence on a regulation hockey net makes a little more sense now. Any other sized net fails to capture the imagination. Only with regulation hockey nets will they get caught up in the romance of playing with the same equipment as the pros. Arguments can be made for smaller hockey nets, those sized to develop accurate shooting, but there's something to be said for familiarity. Once it's game time out on the ice, players are more comfortable seeing the same thing they've seen in practice.
Other hockey net sizes:
- Street hockey- Regulation street hockey nets measure 4 by 6 feet, just like ice hockey nets. These nets often feature wheel attachments for convenient transport.
- Field hockey- Regulation field hockey nets measure 7 feet high by 12 feet wide.
- Roller hockey- Regulation roller hockey nets measure 4 feet by 6 feet as well, which makes sense. This is indoor hockey on inline skates instead of blades.
A Chance at Greatness
Every aspiring athlete deserves a chance at greatness. Let them take their best shot by practicing on regulation hockey nets. Otherwise, it's possible they'll be known only for their good looks, which may not be such a bad thing either.