Most sporting activities play their games in quarters or halves. Yet in hockey, the play wake up in periods. This usage of periods is less self-explanatory than a quarter or halves. How numerous of these periods perform NHL games have? space the durations all the same size of time? Is overtime a period? This write-up will go into detail on hockey’s periods and cover just how overtime components into a game’s usual rules.

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Hockey games always have three periods. At the NHL level, durations run for 20 minutes each. Recreational and youth hockey periods are usually in between 15 and also 20 minute each. Games that room tied in ~ the end of 3 periods enter overtime, i beg your pardon is a shorter duration of extra time play. Overtime is 5 minutes in the regular season, however it transforms to a 20-minute sudden-death layout in the playoffs.

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How plenty of Periods space in a Hockey Game?

Fornewcomers to the sport of hockey, this concern of “periods” have the right to be a confusing one.

Sportssuch together basketball and also football beat in “quarters,” which plainly refers tofour components of a entirety game. Soccer plays “halves,” splitting the game into twoparts.


But hockey is play in periods. Every hockey game constantly has three of this periods. This periods deserve to vary in length relying on the level that hockey being played. However three periods, each of the same amount that time, room standard nevertheless of your duration.

Everyone associated with the game from the players to spectators and also commentators refers to the periods as the “first period,” “second period,” and “third period.” The rule and also structure of a three-period, 20-minute game were an initial implemented in the nationwide Hockey association (NHA) in the 1910-11 season. Before 1910, games were in reality played in 2 30-minute periods.

The NHA later on reorganized itself and also in 1917 released as the national Hockey league (NHL) that we understand today. The NHL has constantly retained the three-period, 20-minute game structure. The only exemption to the three-period structure comes if the video game is tied in ~ the end of regulation time. In the case, the video game goes into overtime.

Is Overtime a duration in Hockey?

Overtimedoes count together a period in hockey. Yet it isn’t precisely viewed or referred to asthe fourth period – it’s seen an ext as extra time.

In various other words, nobody calls overtime the “fourth period.” it’s simply dubbed “overtime.” Overtime plays execute count towards player and goaltender statistics as they would throughout regulation play. Overtime is an extension of regulation play, for this reason its result is reflect in the stat-sheet.

If a goal isn’t scored in the standard single overtime period, many leagues then complete the video game in a shootout. The shootout does no count as a period in the game and occurs there is no time on the clock. Unlike overtime, shootout plays (e.g. Goals, saves) do not count toward the regular stats the the shooters and the goalies. Different shootout stats space kept, however the shootout itself only determines the final winner the the game.

More top top this in my write-up on OTL.

How long Is a Hockey Period?


A standard duration of hockey lasts for 20 minutes. Expert hockey leagues, such as the NHL, minor agree leagues, major junior leagues, and European leagues always play 20-minute periods.

These 3 20-minute periods integrate for what is a 60-minute game. In experienced leagues, there is one intermission that separates the finish of the an initial period native the start of the second period, and also the finish of the second period from the begin of the third period. This intermissions and stoppages in play add up to do the game last much longer than the really 60 minute of video game action. But intermissions, the course, don’t counting as durations in the game.

In recreational and youth leagues, periods can be shorter than 20 minutes. Usually, though, castle don’t operation for much less than 15 minutes per period. 15-minute durations are frequently used due to the fact that arena ice cream bookings might only critical for between 60 and 90 minutes. These gamings won’t have intermissions like skilled leagues do, so the video game needs to fit into the briefer timeslot. To account because that stoppages in play and a momentary pause because that the between period reset, shorter periods are arranged beforehand.

Because ice cream timeslots operation close together, most of this recreational leagues won’t play overtime if a game ends that regulation time in a tie. Part leagues will certainly arrange for a fast shootout, yet other leagues still allow for gamings to finish in a tie. Expert leagues no longer finish with tie games. This rule changed beginning in the 2005-06 season once the NHL had just returned from the lost lockout season that 2004-05.


Prior to2005, in NHL constant season games, teams would beat a single five-minuteovertime duration if the game’s regulation time finished in a tie.

If neitherteam scored in the 5 minutes, the video game would finish in a tie and both teamswould obtain one allude in the standings for the tie – conversely, a winner wouldreceive 2 points.

How do Playoff Overtime periods Work?

In the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, overtime durations run for the same size of time together a standard duration – 20 minutes.

These playoff overtime periods are “sudden death” end time, definition that they keep running until one team scores a goal. It’s referred to as “sudden death” because the video game ends as quickly as one team scores – unequal the extra time in soccer, for example, which deserve to have multiple goals scored throughout add-on time.

The playoff overtime durations run because that 20 minutes and also will function a shorter intermission if subsequent periods are required beyond the very first one. The intermission usually lasts as long as it takes for the Zamboni come resurface the ice, rather than wait the complete 17 minute of the standard intermission break.

Once again, this overtime durations aren’t described as the game’s “fourth period” (and so on, if the playoff video game requires further overtime periods). Instead, additional overtime durations are referred to as “double overtime” (and so on). The overtime periods are abbreviated at 1OT, 2OT, 3OT, and also so on.

So, back every various other hockey game will border you come a best of 65 minute (60 minutes of regulation plus five minutes that overtime), playoff overtime can prolong well beyond the term of a typical three-period hockey game.

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Especially long playoff overtime gamings aren’t all that common, however the NHL playoffs will usually feature at the very least a few games that reach twin and, occasionally, triple-overtime every year.

In the modern era of the NHL, the longest overtime game ended 12 minutes into the 5th overtime period. That way the game played the equivalent of seven-and-a-half conventional periods. This record-breaking overtime game was won by the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the east Conference Semifinals in 2000.

But this form of extended playoff overtime represents the extreme finish of the hockey period scale. Most expert league gamings will only play the standard 20-minute, three-period format. Recreational and also youth leagues commonly play shorter periods together well. Overtime counts together a period, in a diminished extra time form. The only time hockey goes beyond the overtime period’s fourth frame is in sudden-death playoff hockey, i beg your pardon is played till one team scores.