A goalie clearing the ball to a teammate

Once the goalie saves the ball, her job is not over. She must then get the ball to the other end of the field. She can clear the ball immediately to one of her open teammates, or she may wait until someone is open and then throw the ball. Confident goalies will sometimes run the ball down the field.

The goalie has 10 seconds in the crease to get rid of the ball, allowing her the time to throw without the pressure of a defender marking her. No one may enter the crease during those 10 seconds, unless the goalie steps out. She may choose to throw a short pass or a long pass. Players will be doing their best to get open for the clear.

Once those 10 seconds pass, the goalie must leave the crease. When this happens, she becomes a field player so speed and stick skills help tremendously. In some instances, goalies find themselves dodging defenders in an effort to protect the ball while they find an open player to throw to.

A goalie clearing from the crease and a goalie running the ball up field as she is defended



    A short pass to player near the 8 or 12-meter arc. These clears are typically straight, quick passes, right to the player's stick.


    A long pass to a player that is further up field, towards the midfield line. These clears are typically curved, lengthy passes that travel longer and higher through the air into the player's stick.


    This is when the goalie decides to step out of the crease with the ball. Once she does this, she becomes a field player. She can run the ball up the field until she finds an open player to pass to, or she may linger until she is marked and forced to pass the ball.

Watch goalie Marissa Higgins talk about clearing the ball.