How many Timeouts do you get in Hockey

How many Timeouts do you get in Hockey?

In ice hockey, a timeout is like a special call that a team makes to pause the game and meet at the bench to re-build up their winning emotions and discuss with coaches how they should react to the ongoing game, and try to come up with a strategy.

You have seen many timeouts in other sports like football, baseball, etc. Coaches or teams call several timeouts, but in ice hockey, a team can take a timeout only once in a game, and it must be during the play stoppage, not during the game.

Hockey timeouts are treated as a treasure that teams take at the most crucial moment or when they want to have a chance to alter the game. So, captains and coaches use it sensibly. The NHL management only allows one timeout per game for a team, and hence a team calls for a timeout strategically, but this has not much influence on every NHL game; rather, it varies from game to game situation.

But the question arises here is that: What is the right moment or a perfect time to take a timeout? Let’s try to find it out.

When Can A Team Take A Timeout?

Any team player is allowed to call a timeout when there is a play stoppage; just like in other sports, any player can call a timeout as a strategic move during the game. But hockey players cannot call a timeout while the game is on. And when there is a timeout call, all team members, including the goaltender, come to the bench to discuss strategic moves and rest.

Usually, a hockey timeout lasts about 1 minute, but in an NHL game, it lasts 30 seconds.

Hockey Timeout When Not Premitted?

  1. When one team has called the timeout at a stoppage of the game, then another timeout cannot be called out. This means that only one timeout is allowed at a time, and the other has to choose another time for their timeout call.
  2. When the referee has given instructions to both player and goalie before the attempt of a penalty shot. So, the ‘icing’ of penalty shooter is not permitted.
  3. And when the commercial timeout, generally known as TV timeout, is called, hockey timeout is not allowed at that time but only at the normal game stoppage.
  4. Also, when a ‘faceoff’ violation occurs, no timeout is permitted as it ruins the normal game flow.

Remember that goalies or players are not permitted to use pucks for the warmup in the timeout phase.

Hockey Timeout – When Can A Team Call During The Game Play? 

Timeout in hockey is necessary since teams can use it only once in a game. So, coaches and captains use it wisely and save it for a possible time. Mostly, coaches save it till the end of the game and then call it in the remaining last 2 minutes of the game to score the final goal to tie the game or to help their player. When the opponents win the game’s momentum, a team calls a timeout to make a gap in others’ momentum. Here are a few situations when a coach needs to use a timeout.

  • After Icing of Puck: It is often when a team gets tired and under pressure, so they try to ice the puck to cause a faceoff. And the opposing team takes it as an opportunity to place their top-tier players in front of an exhausted defensive group. At that time, coaches call for a timeout to give rest to their defensive players to avoid being outmatched. It happens when a team was up at 2-1 in the 3rd period of the game and doing their best to cover the leads. 
  • After High Momentum Swing: Hockey is a fast and furious game that needs high momentum and can suddenly swing to another team. Suppose when a team has a 2-0 lead, and another team ties it with two quick goals, so to this point coach will take a timeout to stop the momentum from shifting from his team to the opposing team, which becomes high mobilizing this time. It also happens at the beginning of the game when a team scores 2-3 goals shortly after the game start, so the coach calls for a timeout to rest players and reset their stamina for the coming game before they get too tired and are left with no come back to the game.  
  • To Give Tired Players Rest: It occurs a few times in a game when a player has been awarded a penalty shot and is tired after taking a long shift. So, the team coach wants to call a timeout so that a player can rest and perform in this golden chance because 33% of the game can make from this penalty shot.
  • Try To Score A Goal: At the end of the play, when the game is at its peak, players try their best to tie the game by scoring a goal or providing cover to their leads. This is why most coaches and captains save their timeouts till the end of the game. To use it in this scenario either to defend the game or to score a goal because a timeout call will break the flow of opposing team scenarios or give their team a chance to defend well in the last few minutes of the game.
  • To Challenge A Goalie Interference: When a team challenge a potential goal scored thinking that it was with the interference of a goalie. To do this, they need to use their timeout. Because on review, if the officials counted that goal, the challenging team will have to lose their timeout, and if they are right in using goaltender interference of another team, then they can sue their timeout. The NHL official made this rule so that teams can challenge not every goal and have to think twice before challenging.

Television Timeouts 

You probably know that hockey makes money through television telecasts with advertisements and commercials. Henceforth, hockey broadcasts have taken time for a commercial show called TV timeouts.

Television timeouts usually occur three times per period for about 2 minutes after period points of 6, 10, and 14. However, no TV timeout is allowed during power play or at the time of icing when the game has stopped. But the exciting thing is that you will see a commercial of 15, 30 seconds instead of the actual TV timeout standard time of 2-minute.

WE HAVE Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

Before the 2017 NHL season, the NHL used to have a rule: when a team’s offside goal review challenge has lost, they lose timeout too. But after 2017 NHL switched this case with a 2-minute penalty that a team takes when they lose their goal-based review challenge than losing their timeout chance.

NHL and international hockey have few differences based on the IIHF rules. A team can use a 30-second timeout when play is stopped. But there are no TV timeouts at IIHF competitions. That’s why the Olympic hockey game lasts 2 hours while the NHL game takes two and a half hours to end.

The Bottom Line on How many Timeouts do you get in Hockey?

Thus, a timeout must be used wisely, and captains and coaches should determine or wait for the right moment to use it to benefit from it because a team’s timeout becomes the opponent’s timeout, too, and vice versa. So there is a chance that your timeout will reverse against you instead of the opposing team. Therefore, the whole game scenario should be put before taking a timeout, and you have an advantage.

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