From all the major league sports in north America and worldwide, hockey unique divides up its pat time.

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For basketball and also football, leagues are split into 4 quarters, while football is split into 2 halves and baseball right into 9 innings. In addition, each of this sports has actually their own method of settling tie games, and also hockey is no exception.

How numerous periods are in a hockey game?

There room 3 durations in a hockey game comprised of 20 minutes each (or 60 minutes total). If the score is tied after sixty minutes, the game will prolong to a 5-minute overtime period followed by a shootout. During the playoffs, groups will beat sudden-death overtime to work out a tie which is likewise made increase of 20-minute periods.


Were NHL hockey games always 3 durations long?

NHL games were not constantly 3 durations long. Prior to the 1910-11 season, NHL gamings were consisted of of 2 x 30-minute periods (source).

The main reason why gamings were separated into 3 periods had actually to execute with the quality of the ice cream for the players. The NHL made decision it would be much more beneficial come resurface the ice with the Zamboni every 20 minutes fairly than 30 minutes. The an ext you beat on an ice surface, there will certainly be build-up of snow and higher potential for grooves and ice chips to construct as that softens.

Actually, the build-up of snow causes the video game to sluggish down as the puck cannot take trip as smoothly as result of the greater amount the friction. Furthermore, the grooves can cause players to slow-moving down in addition to the as whole speed of the game.

Ice chips have actually the unfortunately potential of bring about serious injuries to players. In ~ minimum, the ice cream chips can cause players come unexpectedly expedition to the ice. And more seriously, a player’s skate have the right to get captured in the groove or chip bring about severe foot injuries (sprains or torn ACLs/MCLs, etc.).

Keep in mind the although periods are each 20 minute long, the yes, really time players spend on the ice each period is around 40-45 minute in real-time. This contains all the stoppages in between plays such together from penalties, goals, injuries, time-outs and also more.

The NHL presented intermissions between periods come resurface the ice, beginning at 10 minutes long. Eventually, the intermissions reached 17-minutes long killing numerous birds with one stone:

Resurfacing the the ice

As pointed out earlier, the intermission time is used to resurface the ice cream for optimal playing conditions.

Player Breaks and also Team Regroup

Players and coaches are returned to their particular dressing rooms so they have the right to basically remainder up between periods. In addition, the team coaches talk about strategies to change the course of the game and regroup your players.

Spectator Breaks: Food, Beverages and also Bathroom

Audience members can use the moment to restock up on food and beverages as the video game length in real-time is 2.5+ hrs long. Due to the fact that many spectators gain drinking alcoholic beverages, the require for the bathroom break is essential. If you’ve ever before attended any kind of sporting event, particularly a hockey game, the commodes get incredibly packed during the breaks.


For viewers city hall the video game at home, the league uses the intermissions come advertise their sponsors through commercials. This is in addition to the booked TV timeouts throughout each period.

Audience members are also subject come advertisements top top the key scoreboard during the intermission pauses. Depending upon the venue, the league will use the intermission time come launch totally free t-shirts come spectators or give out freebies from the rafters (or remote-controlled blimps) from in-house sponsors.

Can a hockey video game last much longer than 3 periods?

NHL and other professional league gamings can definitely last much longer than 3 periods (also recognized as regulation time). As pointed out earlier, if the game is tied after 60 minutes (3 periods) the play, the game will head come overtime.

In the consistent season, there is a 5-minute overtime during which teams play 3-on-3. If the game is still tied after ~ overtime, the game is resolved through a shootout session. It have to be provided that the ice cream is no resurfaced any kind of time ~ the third period.

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In the playoffs, the rules room slightly different as gamings are determined by sudden fatality overtime. The is, the game can just be worked out once one of two people team scores the next and deciding goal. Therefore, the groups are went back to their dressing rooms complying with the third and every subsequent period for a 15 and a fifty percent minutes intermission. The overtime periods are likewise 20 minutes long and also are play 5-on-5.