In the early games the Goal
Judges were sometimes called umpires and were selected from the fans in the
audience. They stood on the ice behind the goal and would raise a flag when
a goal was scored. Since there was no net, the Goal Judge would then have to
go get the puck. If he missed seeing a goal, that team might pepper him with
“wild” shots the next time they were at that end of the ice.
Over time the goal frame and net were added, the Goal Judge moved back to
stand behind the end boards of the rink, and a light instead of a flag was
used to signal a goal. It was not until the 1960’s that the NHL required a
protected area in which the Goal Judge would be seated. The Goal Judges
probably figured it was about time. Some thirty years earlier in a game
between the Chicago Black Hawks and New York Americans, Chicago scored but
the light did not go on. When the Referee checked to see what the problem
was, he found that some New York fans were holding the Goal Judge’s hands so
he could not turn on the goal light.
Even now in the older USHL arenas not all Goal Judges sit in protective
The Timekeepers’ jobs are not easy either. The Penalty Timekeeper must be
very careful to keep accurate time. Releasing a player from the penalty box
too early or waiting too long might make the difference between winning or
losing a game. His job was even more difficult in the early days when there
was only one penalty box for both teams. Can you imagine what it was like
when two players penalized for fighting had to sit in the same box?
The Game Timekeeper's job is easier now compared to the early days when all
they had was a round-faced clock with a minute hand and a second hand. Once
when the end of a game was delayed over a discussion of time differences
between the timekeeper's clock and the referee’s stopwatch, two fans, a
husband and wife who were cheering for opposing teams, got into such a
heated argument that the wife stabbed the husband in the shoulder.
Fortunately the husband survived. [We don’t know if the marriage did,
(From The Official Rules of Hockey by