Imagine constantly playing without a break or watching a continuous game where the players are so tired that they want the game to end! What thrill would such a game provide? Tiredness and tiring faces would not be any pleasure.
So, that is why hockey games are divided into time periods to separate the pressure of the game to let the players rest for a while to keep up the game’s momentum, along with many other reasons. This is what makes unique hockey fun.
Want to know more about hockey time periods? Come, let us explore!
How Many Periods are in Ice Hockey?
In any regular ice hockey game, there are three periods as described officially. Each of these three time periods in hockey constitutes a total of twenty minutes. There is a change of ends for each period.
Also, there is a fifteen-minute intermission time after the first and the second periods in which the ground staff works on the ice and its state.
The three-time periods of hockey make a sixty-minute game. If the game is tied after these periods, there is an additional five-minute overtime period, followed by a shootout.
There is also a sudden death overtime period comprising a total of twenty minutes.
Were NHL Hockey Games Always 3 Period Long?
As described above, we have three periods in National Hockey League now, but this was not always the fact. Instead, these three periods were introduced after 1911.
Up to 1911, National Hockey League consisted of two time periods, each of which was thirty minutes long. This was changed after 1911. And there are several reasons for this.
Why Three Periods and Not Two Halves?
The first and foremost thing to consider is that ice hockey, as known very well, is played on ice, and hence, it has its particular protocols to be followed for the game to be played well and fairly and also for the safety of the players.
The intermission breaks were deemed necessary to maintain the ice quality, and three-time periods were ultimately decided.
After Each Period Intermission and Ice Resurfacing
Intermissions are necessary because the ice starts becoming soft as time passes. Gradually, ice chips begin to form, which are dangerous as the players can trip over them and may develop severe injuries like leg sprains.
Friction also increases, resulting in reduced skating speed, slowing down the game speed. Therefore, three-time periods became a necessity.
It is also essential to know that even though the time span for each period is said to be 20 minutes in rules, the actual time for every period is much more than that, about 40 minutes, considering the game stoppages for various reasons like injuries or penalties.
Intermissions are of about 17 minutes, and a lot of tasks are accomplished in them, like the resurfacing of ice which is the actual reason for intermissions. It also serves as a break for players and their team to regroup. It is also a break for spectators and a time for advertisements to be displayed.
How Long Does It Take to Play a Period in Real-Time?
In the rule book and the theory, NHL hockey games are said to be of 60 minutes, but that is not the case in actuality.
In reality, the National Hockey League games last for about 2.5 to 3 hours.
This is because of the game stoppages in between, the increased intermission time periods, and the overtimes if the game is tied in the end. And if the game remains tied even after overtime, there is a shootout for the final decision. This enhances the time period from the said 60 minutes to the actual almost 3 hours, depending on the game conditions and situation.
How Long are the Intermissions between Periods?
We have discussed in depth the intermissions above and their time spans. These are the breaks between every time period in ice hockey.
Generally, each intermission lasts for about 16 minutes (15 minutes and 30 seconds, to be precise), while it is 17 minutes if the game is being televised. This time span is adequately recorded. There is also an intermission before the overtime, and if the game is still tied after overtime, there will be another intermission before the shootout.
The players have to leave the ground during this time, and the Zamboni take charge of the ice. After intermission, there is a face-off for the puck to be placed back on the ground and restart the game.
How Long between Regulation and Overtime?
Regulation is generally 60 minutes in ice hockey, but the actual game play time span is 2.5 to around 3 hours.
Additional Periods: Overtime
There is an overtime period when the game is tied at the end of the regular hockey game to determine the winner of the game.
Everyone wants to have a winning team at the end of every sport, and it is a disappointment to have a game tied. So, hockey games do not end without finding out which is the better team at the end of the day.
Therefore, there is an overtime period to determine the final well deserved results of a thrilling game. Overtime is of five minutes where the first team to score the goal is the winner. This is also known as the sudden-death overtime period. The game moves into a shootout if the overtime is also tied.
Length of a Game in NHL Playoffs
The average NHL games playoff series is seven-game series. Each game in the NHL playoffs may last for three periods of twenty minutes. The overtime rules are different in playoffs.
There is a sudden-death overtime play when the regular game ends in a tie, of twenty minutes in the playoffs, with the intermissions being 15 minutes. The game stoppages and intermissions are an addition to playtime.
How Long are College Hockey Games
College hockey games are generally the same as NHL games. They also have three periods, each of which constitutes 20 minutes. They have a 17-minute intermission time, with the average real-time being 2.5 hours. There is a one-minute time out for each time. Another may be added if the game has to go into overtime.
How many Quarters in Hockey?
Field hockey has four quarters in a game. Each of the four quarters is 15 minutes, and after each quarter, the players get a 2-minute break. Ice hockey is professionally played in periods of 20 minutes and not in quarters with rules different than field hockey.
Does hockey ever have two halves or four quarters?
Recreational and kids’ hockey games are played differently from professional NHL hockey games. These recreational games are played in two halves. This is done to avoid the time wasted in time periods.
They are played at a run time, meaning the game clock is not stopped even when the game is stopped. Therefore, these games may end in about 60 minutes with just a bit more time up. Most commonly, only 15 minutes will go up.
So, recreational and kids’ hockey games are of 1 hour and 15 minutes with two halves. This is all about hockey time periods, a detailed and in-depth review of one of the segments of the most loved game on the surface of the earth.