How Long is Ice Hockey Game

How Long is a Hockey Game?

Ever wondered how and why the thrill of hockey games remains increasing? The fun never ceases to excite you. Why is that so? Because of its time limit! As humans, we become tired and bored of the things that drag on for extended periods. No matter how interesting in the beginning, you will find things monotonous after a time if it fails to give you any pleasurable result.

And that is how hockey is designed, keeping it thrilling. It has a limited time for it.

How Long do Ice Hockey Games Last?

Do you know how long an ice hockey game is? Let us find out. All the national hockey league (NHL) games are a total of sixty minutes in regulation. These games are divided into three periods, and each period lasts for twenty minutes in total. This twenty-minute period may increase in case of stoppages or NHL transmissions, which constitute fifteen minutes.

If the match is tied between the teams, then there is five-minute over time, and if this overtime still results in no team winning the game, then there is a shootout that determines the winner of that game.

This is the basic structure and planning of any typical ice hockey game, with an ideal time of sixty minutes.

How Long do Ice Hockey Games Actually Last?

As described above, the ideal time of any ice hockey game is 60 minutes, but in the actual practical world, the game may last almost 2 hours or more. NHL playoff games can take more time because of the commercials and the extra overtime periods.

There are a few reasons why the sixty minutes game is turned into an almost 2.5 hours game. Listed below are some of the primary reasons. The most basic and important reason is the NHL intermissions.

How Long are the Intermissions between Periods?

When every single period ends, there are 15 to 17 minutes, 20 in the case of the Stanley Cup, during which the Zamboni cleans the ice. There may also be some repairing as needed accordingly by the crew responsible for maintenance. So, 15 minutes after each period are added to game playtime.

Importance of Intermissions

The reason for this intermission and also for the three periods of the hockey game is that the ice on which the game is being played degrades notably and becomes dangerous for the players to play on; therefore, it is crucial to scrape the surface and clean the ice.

Other Reasons for Extending the Length of NHL Games 

Secondly, there are also commercials shown in between. Since ice hockey is a greatly loved sport, marketers and advertisers use this opportunity to target more and more people during this time when people are gathered and focused on the game.

The third important reason is the stoppages or the penalties and the injuries etc., which also stop the game and increase its time from the prescribed limit. Also, there is a warm-up time before or sometimes in between the match. There may also be a short meet-up time with fans present there, adding up to the regulated time.

Overtimes also add to playtime. Generally, overtime periods may extend to twenty minutes in the playoffs, while they may be of only five minutes in any regular season. These four are the primary reasons that indicate that ice hockey’s actual playtime is around 2.5 hours.

Length of the Game in NHL Playoffs 

A playoff game may easily extend to four to five hours in actuality due to the different reasons mentioned in this article, the most important one being more additional overtime periods. But also, it is essential to note that there is no intermission in case of an overtime period in the regular season of the game.

How Long between Regulation and Overtime

It is essential to note that there is no intermission in case of an overtime period in the regular season of the game. In case of a tie, the game will resume after two minutes. The overtime will be of five minutes. If no team scores during these five minutes, the game will move to the shootout period.

What is the Longest NHL Game Ever?

With the determined time as 60 minutes and actual time as 2.5 hours, you must be wondering which was the lengthiest ever NHL game in history. This longest game took place between the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Maroons in 1936. The game lasted for a total of 176 minutes and 30 seconds, from 8 30 pm EST Tuesday to 2:25 Wednesday. The game had six overtimes.

Today Montreal Maroons are no longer a part of the NHL, and much has changed with the time.

Can Hockey Games End in a Tie?

Hockey games today cannot end in a tie because of the new rules adopted by the NHL in 2005. Before this time, it was possible that the games could end in a tie despite the hours of the match but no more now.

If no team wins the match even after overtime, then a shootout comes into action to ultimately decide the winner of the game. The rule is simple; the first team to score wins the match.

And how long would you be able to hold the other from scoring! Eventually, after a nerve-wracking competition for both the spectators and the players, one side finally tastes the sweetest fruit of victory. Usually, shootouts end only in five minutes. Besides, they are also a reason for increasing the regulated 60 minutes of ice hockey games.

How Long do other Professional League Games take?

Apart from NHL, there are many other leagues in which hockey is played. The standard time for all the other league games is also sixty minutes. The difference lies in the intermission time, 15 minutes or 17 minutes.

For example, college hockey games, Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), National League (Swiss), American Hockey League (AHL), East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), Western Hockey League (WHL), and Ontario Hockey League (OHL) all constitute of total 60 minutes set time with an additional different intermission time.

Typically, in reality, all these games also take a total of 2.5 hours to end with a fruitful result. But they usually are shorter than the NHL games because they do not have all the factors which increase the playtime of NHL games, like commercials shown in between.

How Long is a Recreational or Kids Hockey Game?

Recreational games are typically played at a run time, which means that the game clock does not stop even in case of a whistle. So, these games most often end within 60 minutes with an addition of a few more minutes.

So, in a nutshell, the article provides a deep insight into how long the ice hockey games are. It is essential to know the time limit to adequately plan to watch ice hockey games and the information to learn. Knowledge bestows upon you a freshness like nothing else in the world can!

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