From all the major league sports in phibìc America and also worldwide, hockey uniquely divides increase its beat time.

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For basketball and football, leagues are break-up into 4 quarters, while football is split into 2 halves and baseball right into 9 innings. In addition, every of this sports has their own means of settling tie games, and hockey is no exception.

How numerous periods are in a hockey game?

There space 3 durations in a hockey game comprised of 20 minutes every (or 60 minutes total). If the score is tied ~ sixty minutes, the video game will expand to a 5-minute overtime duration followed by a shootout. Throughout the playoffs, teams will beat sudden-death overtime to settle a tie i m sorry is likewise made up of 20-minute periods.


Were NHL hockey games constantly 3 durations long?

NHL gamings were not always 3 durations long. Prior to the 1910-11 season, NHL gamings were made up of 2 x 30-minute durations (source).

The main reason why gamings were separated into 3 periods had to carry out with the high quality of the ice cream for the players. The NHL decided it would be more beneficial come resurface the ice with the Zamboni every 20 minutes fairly than 30 minutes. The more you play on an ice surface, there will be build-up of eye and higher potential for grooves and ice chips to develop as the softens.

Actually, the buildup of snow causes the video game to slow-moving down as the puck cannot travel as smoothly due to the greater amount that friction. Furthermore, the grooves can cause players to slow down along with the all at once speed that the game.

Ice chips have actually the unfortunate potential of resulting in serious injuries to players. In ~ minimum, the ice chips can reason players come unexpectedly trip to the ice. And an ext seriously, a player’s skate have the right to get recorded in the groove or chip causing severe foot injuries (sprains or torn ACLs/MCLs, etc.).

Keep in mind the although durations are every 20 minutes long, the yes, really time players spend on the ice each duration is about 40-45 minutes in real-time. This has all the stoppages between plays such together from penalties, goals, injuries, time-outs and more.

The NHL presented intermissions in between periods to resurface the ice, starting at 10 minutes long. Eventually, the intermissions got to 17-minutes long killing number of birds with one stone:

Resurfacing that the ice

As stated earlier, the intermission time is supplied to resurface the ice cream for optimal playing conditions.

Player Breaks and also Team Regroup

Players and coaches are went back to their respective 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 also regroup their players.

Spectator Breaks: Food, Beverages and Bathroom

Audience members deserve to use the moment to restock increase on food and also beverages together the game length in real-time is 2.5+ hours long. Due to the fact that many spectators gain drinking alcohol addict beverages, the need for the bathroom break is essential. If you’ve ever before attended any type of sporting event, particularly a hockey game, the toilets get extremely packed throughout the breaks.


For viewers city hall the game at home, the league uses the intermissions come advertise your sponsors v commercials. This is in enhancement to the booked TV timeouts throughout each period.

Audience members are also subject come advertisements ~ above the key scoreboard throughout the intermission pauses. Depending upon the venue, the organization will use the intermission time to launch cost-free t-shirts to spectators or provide out freebies indigenous the rafters (or remote-controlled blimps) indigenous in-house sponsors.

Can a hockey video game last longer than 3 periods?

NHL and also other professional league games can absolutely last much longer than 3 periods (also recognized as regulation time). As discussed earlier, if the game is tied after ~ 60 minutes (3 periods) of play, the video game will head to overtime.

In the consistent season, there is a 5-minute overtime throughout which groups play 3-on-3. If the game is still tied ~ overtime, the video game is settled through a shootout session. It have to be detailed that the ice is no resurfaced any time after ~ the third period.

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In the playoffs, the rules space slightly various as gamings are chose by sudden death overtime. That is, the video game can only be cleared up once one of two people team scores the next and also deciding goal. Therefore, the groups are returned to their dressing rooms complying with the 3rd and every subsequent period for a 15 and a half minutes intermission. The overtime durations are likewise 20 minute long and also are play 5-on-5.