Finding a fill-in goalie for your beer league team could seem impossible somedays. Canada has come up with a solution according to the CBC.
What started as a simple texting service in Montreal to rent a substitute goaltender, GoalieUp has grown into a popular app available across Canada and beyond.
The app was created by Montreal goaltender Mark Manning, who thought about renting himself out while he was an unemployed student. The idea started simply as texting between friends and now has grown into a database of over 2,000 goaltenders, with 700-800 in Montreal alone.
Manning knew a lot of leagues faced goaltender shortages.
“It’s not just standing in front of a puck,” he said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press’ Morgan Lowrie. “You have to be mobile, to be flexible, there’s a whole bunch of things, including the cost of equipment.”
Teams who request a goalie through the app are charged $40 for the first hour, which includes a booking fee and a cash payment to the goalie directly.
Goalies are paid extra if the game goes into extras with an additional $10 for a late-night or last-minute request.
Manning said most of the requests have been for beer league games, but the app has also been asked to provide goalies for a private backyard tournament and even an event at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel, where two goalies were needed to take shots from businessmen at a corporate event.
In 2015, another app appeared out of the Toronto area. Puck App, created by Niki Sawni, books goalies for 200 to 250 games a month. His service is available across Canada, but states the biggest market is Ottawa.
“It doesn’t really work in other sports, in other sports anyone can play any position,” Sawni said, reiterating the point that the lack of goaltenders is a problem unique to hockey. “It’s definitely a unique Canadian problem.”
Both apps take requests from teams and send notifications to goalies in the area with similar skill rankings. Goaltenders then have a chance to respond to say if they’re interested. GoalieUp prefers to assign the goalies directly to ensure a fair rotation while Puck App gives goalies who have received positive user feedback the first chance to play.
While Puck App is specifically for male goaltenders, GoalieUp allows women to be chosen for games, including both ice and ball hockey.
Puck App is even using Alex Ovechkin as a psudeo available goaltender in their promo photos. Who knew you could get Ovi The Goalie for just $65?
Headline Image: Graham Hughes
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