Rule Highlights

Goaltimate has evolved very differently in each community since the official rule set was codified by Rick Conner in the mid 1990’s. USA Goaltimate is in the process of solidifying a universal rule set that incorporates the best of what’s been developed in each locality and combines it to form a game that is fast-paced and fun to play at all levels. For now, the highlights of that rule set are listed below in the form of a FAQ:


In order for a catch to result in a score it must:

  • Fully break the plane of the hoop. All parts of the disc must pass through.
  • The receiver’s first point of contact must be within the scoring area.

Catches where the receiver has a first point of contact within the goal area, but does not break the plane of the hoop (momentum carries them out) are not considered a goal.

What about the two point line?
Any goal thrown from the clear box is worth two points. A two point goal that is mac’ed by either an offensive or defensive player is still worth two points.

Can you break the plane of the hoop when passing for a goal?
No, throwers may not break the plane of the hoop when passing for a goal. If so, a violation is called that invalidates the goal. The receiver maintains possession of the disc where it’s caught and play continues.

Hitting the Hoop

If the disc or an offensive player’s body hits the goal during a score, does the score count?
Yes, the goal counts as long as play does not need to pause to readjust the hoop. If the offense moves the goal to the point whereby it needs to be adjusted, the score does not count, and the receiver puts the disc back in play at the apex of the scoring area.

What happens if the defense knocks over the hoop while defending a score?
If the receiver catches the goal, the goal stands. If the defender knocks over the hoop but the catch is not a goal, then the receiver puts the disc in play at the apex of the key area once the kit has been reset up.

What happens to the clock if the hoop gets knocked down?
The clock continues to run if the hoop is knocked down for any reason, but observers may elect to add additional time to the clock (penalty time) to compensate for time lost in re-setting equipment. If penalty time is added, the observer will announce how much at the end of regulation, and play will continue uninterrupted until that additional time expires.


Is goaltending legal?
Goaltending is not allowed. Defenders must be within arm’s length of any offensive player to remain in the scoring or key area for longer than 3 seconds . If there is no offensive player within arm’s length after 3 seconds, the defender must remove all points of contact in the scoring and key area or risk being called for goaltending.

What happens if goaltending is called? 
Play stops, and the offensive player in possession of the disc checks it in at the apex of the key area (also known as the brick).

Picks and Screens

Are picks legal?

Screens are definitely legal, but just like basketball, you must be stationary with both feet planted to be a legal screen. Illegal screens in which the player’s feet are not set, they are still in motion, or use arms to intentionally inhibit the movement of the defense are called picks – and may be called by the defense. If a pick is called, play stops and the offense repositions themselves to the apex of the scoring area or to where the pick was originally called – whichever is least beneficial.

Common “What If” Questions

What happens if I catch the disc outside the goal, but my momentum carries me through?
The catch is not a goal, and the disc is put in play where the receiver comes to rest and establishes a pivot foot.
Where does the count resume on a contested stall?
Count resumes at “stalling 4”.

What happens if you throw backwards (toward the clearing box) through the goal?
Throwing backwards through the goal results in an immediate turnover. Disc is put in play from where it lands if on the field, and the closest boundary if not.

3 Seconds on Offense

What’s the 3 second rule
Offensive players may only remain in the scoring area for 3 seconds at a time. The 3 seconds reset once a offensive player has removed all points of contact from within the scoring area (both feet). Defensive players may call out the time an offensive cutter is in the hoop by saying “Goal 1, Goal 2, Goal 3”.

If a 3 second violation in the hoop area is called on an offensive cutter, they must clear the hoop area before they are eligible to score. A player catching a goal after a 3 second violation results is a non-score, and the receiver continues play.

Posting Up

Can you post up in Goaltimate?

Goaltimate is a controlled contact sport. So when on offense, a player may physically post up a defender in the scoring area. When posting up on offense, players are allowed to both hold the space they occupy, and use controlled motions to back down, or lean into their defender to reposition themselves for more space. However, they may not shove, push, hook arms with, or body check their defender to create that space. Arm use while backing down a player is a foul.

Similarly, defenders may back their offensive players out of a position using leaning and controlled motion techniques. Arm use, shoving, or body checking (usually indicated by dropping a shoulder) their offensive player is a considered a foul.

Defenders should be aware that offensive players may only remain in the scoring area for 3 seconds as a live cutter, and should always remember to count those 3 seconds out by saying “goal 1, goal 2, goal 3” to prevent the offensive player posting up indefinitely.

Tournament Play


Where does the offense start at the beginning of a game?
The team that wins the pull will start with the disc at the top of the key (the cone marking the back of the endzone). The other team will start with the disc after half.

How does one sub in USA Goaltimate
A player subbing must touch hands with the subee in order to be considered live on the playing field. Subees may not leave the sub box until they are touched. Violations of this will result in a 15 second penalty in which the offending team plays with only 3 players.

Are there time outs?
There are no timeouts in USAG games. Teams must to use the half-time to make strategic adjustments.

What happens if a game ends in a tie at the end of regulation?
During a regular season game, the game is over as soon as the whistle sounds to signal end of time. If the disc is in the air when time expires, it is still live until caught or results in a turnover. Therefore a goal thrown before time expires is counted as a goal. Consider this the “buzzer-beater” rule.
For USAG Championship events, games that end regulation time in a tie will go to sudden death. Play continues with not stoppage until such time as one team scores to end the tie.
Are double teams legal?
Double and triple teams are completely legal.


We at USA Goaltimate are fully committed to making sportsmanship and Spirit of the Game™ an integral part of our rule sets.

If you are interested in being part of the conversation on USAG rules, we invite you to contact us at