Why Do They Call It the Five Hole?

There are five basic scoring zones in hockey. While there is some debate about how they are labeled, one thing is clear: the five hole is right between the goalie’s legs. Traditionally scoring zones are numbered as follows:

  1. Stick side low
  2. Glove side low
  3. Glove side high
  4. Stick side high
  5. Between the legs

Perhaps the reason the five-hole label lasted the test of time is because there is no mistaking its location. I’ve heard people refer to the two spot as the left side, but who’s left? The goalie or the shooter? (You see how this could get confusing).

So where is the best place to score? Definitely not the 5 hole. I’ve seen more goals go in high stick side than anywhere else. (See #4 on the chart). Maybe it’s because the goalie reacts just slightly slower because he has to bear the weight of the stick?

In any case, your best bet is to practice your shooting accuracy so you can aim it wherever you want. Scoring opportunities are highly situational and happen in an instant. The faster you can react with precision, the more goals you’ll get.

Tags: ,

Share This Article

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Delicious


  1. TBL said on November 6, 2010

    There are also a 6 and 7 hole, between the arms and body. 🙂

  2. Keegan said on November 7, 2010

    Yeah I've heard that, too. I've also heard the 6th hole is when it goes "through" the goalie.

  3. Anonymous said on March 26, 2011

    Allan Bester of the leafs tried to commit suicide by jumping in front of a train.
    He survived as the train went through his "5 hole"

    • Lynner said on February 1, 2017

      This good joke has been around for some time. I watched a 1970’s game where Daryl Sittler scored
      6 goals and five assists against the Boston Bruins. This N.H.L. record still stands in this year of 2017. After scoring so many points in one game Sittler said ” I hear the goalie tried to commit suicide by jumping in front of a train, but it went through his legs!”

  4. Anonymous said on March 28, 2011

    Just don't get a puck stuck in the a-hole! LOL

  5. Doc said on June 16, 2012

    “the left side, but who’s left?” **whose**

    • Jim said on March 14, 2018

      Pretty sure Who’s on first.

  6. Hockey Nut said on May 12, 2014

    Darren Pang (5’5″) joked that shooters would go 6 hole on him … over his head.

  7. Tom said on May 17, 2014

    It’s called the 5 hole from a Bowling reference. The 5 pin is in the middle of the rack of Bowling pins. A shot through the “middle” of the goalies legs goes through the 5 hole.

  8. jeb said on November 25, 2015

    Tom is right. Bowling reference, ‘borrowed’ by hockey and others

    • Deve said on February 27, 2018

      I ALWAYS thought the five hole was6 a

  9. Devereaux said on February 27, 2018

    I thought of bowling.

  10. Grinch the Goalie said on October 3, 2019

    I’d always heard the best place to shoot was low to the stick side, because as the goalie moves his stick away from his body, its heel lifts up off the ice, allowing space for the puck to go through. But the real answer is the best place to shoot is wherever the goalie is covering the least. Unless the goalie is giving you a spot on purpose and daring you to shoot there, then he’ll shut it down!

Leave a Comment

Tell us who you are! Basic html is allowed. Advertising, profanity, self-promotion, and off-topic comments will be removed.