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Goals against average (GAA) is a statistic used in ice hockey, water polo, lacrosse, and soccer that is the mean of goals allowed per game by a goaltender. It is calculated by dividing the number of minutes played by 60 minutes (one regulation game) then dividing the goals against by that figure. Alternatively, take the amount of goals against, multiply that by 60 minutes, and then divide by the amount of minutes played. It is typically given to two decimal places.

GAA is analogous to a baseball pitcher's earned run average (ERA). In Japanese language, the same translation (防御率) is used for both GAA and ERA, because of this analogy.

The top goaltenders in the National Hockey League currently have a GAA of about 2.00, although the measure of a good GAA changes as different playing styles come and go. The top goaltenders in the National Lacrosse League however, currently have a GAA of about 10.00, and the top 2005 Western Lacrosse Association goaltenders had a GAA of about 9.00. At their best, elite NCAA water polo goalies have a GAA between 3.00 and 5.00.

Since the statistic is highly dependent on the team playing in front of a goalie, save percentage is usually considered a more accurate measure of a goaltender's skill, especially in ice hockey and lacrosse. In soccer, since it is considered a part of goalkeeper's job to coach defenders on proper positioning to prevent opponent's shots, GAA is more commonly used to evaluate goalkeepers than save percentage.


Simple English

Goals against average (often shortened to GAA) is a statistic used in ice hockey, water polo, lacrosse, and association football that is the mean of goals allowed per game by a goaltender.


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