Why can't an 800 lb man play goalie?

Sumo wrestlers are pretty quick and I’m sure that there are plenty of 700 and 800 pound guys out there that have the hand speed to play goalie. I sure that hockey coaches and team owners have thought of this already- so why don’t we see these guys out there?

For the same reason we don’t have little people/dwarves step up to bat in baseball.

It’s kind of cheating in a way…considered bad form. :wink:

Bad form? If the person is qualified, would disability discrimination laws come into effect, especially for dwarves?

I’m guessing the benefit of the increased mass would be outweighed by the loss of mobility. Sumo wrestlers may be quick enough, but I’ll bet they’re not particularly quick on ice skates in comparison to Jaromir Jagr. Can you imagine a sumo on ice skates doing the splits to block a shot coming in between the legs, then getting back on his feet quick enough to stop a rebound shot from coming in over his head?

Also, I think 700-800 lbs would be a little much for a sumo. Googling shows average sumo weight in Japan at about 415 lbs, and the heaviest ever at 589 lbs.

Some previous threads on the subject:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=255911 http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=159263

Let me try that again.

Hockey Goals and Really Fat People
Can a “sumo” wrestler be a hockey goalie?


This was touched upon in one of the red Dwarf books; in GELF (Genetically Engineered Lifeform) soccer, there was an arms-race of innovation that ended in the goalies being designed as rectangular blocks of living flesh that entirely filled the goalmouth.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that you don’t see many 800 pound guys out there is because…they don’t want to be out there! That’s how they got to be 800 pounds in the first place. I’m sure you could probably find some big guys that’d give it a try for the right money. but then you get into that whole thing with the ice skates. But still, nobody’s that big that they could just stand there and cover the goal.
BTW it just hockey…who really cares? t/k quickly ducks and hauls ass


Professional sumo wrestlers don’t weigh nearly that much, though (and Yarborough may not have weighed that much himself when he wrestled):


One problem that I see is that the NHL regulates the size of the goalie’s jersey*. This pretty much limits the size of a goalie. Tou can fit a pretty big guy in the maxium allowed jersey size, but he won’t be anywhere near big enough to fill the 6’x4’ opening of the goal.

Even if they didn’t have that rule, they also limit the size of the pads. Someone who is big enough to fill in the goal is going to have a significant percentage of exposed, unpadded flesh. Just because they’re fat doesn’t mean they don’t have feeling out there, and getting hit by a slapshot on unpadded skin hurts like hell. I would think that your super-sized goalie would either need to have a superhero-level tolerance for pain or they’d be begging to be switched by the first 2 minutes of the game.

Not to mention that a goalie isn’t just there to prevent pucks from getting in the net, they’re an important part of the team’s defensive strategy and tactics. A good goalie knows when to catch or cover the puck to give the team a break, or to keep it in play and get it to teammates who are clear to take it down the ice. If your goalie was just an inert lump (and I’ve been on teams where that was pretty much the case :slight_smile: ) your defense is at a pretty severe disadvantage, as the other team has a center and two wings in your zone, and you just have your two defensemen with some backup provided by your center, who should really be looking to get the puck and attack, not play all the way back on defense.

perhaps because an 800 lb goalie would go straight through the ice? :eek:

Don’t forget, however, the new NHL rule which prohibits goalies from playing the puck behind the goal line, thus greatly reducing their chances of effectively joining the defense.

Really? So the goalie can’t skate behind the line just to pass it to one of the defenders?

I don’t not know the exact details. However, the intent of the rule is to eliminate the goalie going behind the next and stopping the offensive shoot-in. Too many goalies had become so effective at playing that shot and acting as a 3rd defencemen.

I am not sure, but I have to assume, the goalie can still freeze the puck or pokecheck the puck behind the net.

Sumo Goalie Standing:
There would be an obvious vulnerability with a sumo-goalie…the area around the feet. The amount of energy to expend while staying on a pair of 3/8" blades, shuffling left and right, staying square to the shooter (even if your body is wide enough to cover a 6’ wide net, you still won’t be able to cover low around the skate area with any mass of flesh), and keeping the stick down flat on the ice to cover the area between the blades would make the nimblest of sumo-goalies die from dehydration. Goalies are the hardest working players on the ice, losing pounds of water each period reacting to the puck and players at all times. Not as easy as it seems. You might just see a 6 foot wide goalie SHRINK in width as the game goes on if he plays the game on his feet.

Sumo Goalie Laying on his side:
If the sumo-goalie lays on his side, he will still have gaps (the areas above his neck and the areas above his knees towards his feet) that any teenage player on up can send a puck through. It would be very similar to sticking a nylon goalie on the goal for practice, because the sumo-goalie won’t be moving much at all, maybe waving his free arm in the air in desperation to block a shot. The game would become target practice.

Also, wouldn’t the weight of 400 lbs. per skate cut through the ice pretty quickly, so that if the goalie just stood still for a bit his skates would start to eat into the ice?

Standing there, no…but when he moves and shuffles (creating the friction), he will create a lot of pits and slush around him.

I believe the blades are closer to 3/16"…not 3/8"… :smack:

Either way, it won’t be a pretty sight.

Is there any requirement in the NHL that the goalie be human? I’m thinking like a moose or elk or bear that could be trained just to lay down for the game. :smiley: