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Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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How Long are Hockey Games? – The Average Length and Time

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There’s nothing like sitting down at a hockey game and hearing the teams’ names called out. It seems like the whole thing happened in the blink of an eye, and then all of a sudden, it’s the third period, and your team is getting close to winning. This makes you ask the most critical question. How Long are Hockey Games?

Hockey games that follow the rules last for 60 minutes, which is split into three 20-minute periods. The real-time length of a game is about two to two and a half hours. This is because of penalties, breaks, commercials if the game is on TV, and overtime if needed. This is a simple answer, but many other things can make a game last longer. Let’s look at the other things that affect how long hockey games and games at lower levels last.

A Typical Professional Hockey Game Length

About 60 minutes is the average length of an NHL hockey game. A game comprises three 20-minute periods, so the actual playing time is only about 45 minutes. Between the second and third periods, there is also a 15-minute break. So, if you take out all the breaks, a hockey game only takes about 30 minutes.

A lot of people think that hockey games go on for too long. They say the breaks are too long, and too much time is lost when the play stops.

But some people think that hockey games are the right length. They say that the breaks give people a chance to get something to eat or drink and take a break. They also say that the breaks in play give teams a chance to think about strategy and give tired players a break.

How Long is a Recreational or Kid’s Hockey Game?

At the recreational level, 60 minutes of hockey are played at runtime. This is true for both kids and adults who play the game. Runtime means that they don’t stop the clock when they hear a whistle. The clock keeps going until the end of the period when it stops. This means the game takes 60 minutes to play, plus a few more minutes for the quick breaks between periods and the warmups.

From the start of the warmup to when the teams leave the ice at the end of a recreational game, it usually takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let me tell you, when the game is stopped on the ice; everyone is trying to get it going again as soon as possible. No one wants to waste time waiting for the puck to drop and being unable to play.

Some leagues have stoppage time in the last few minutes of the game, so a winning team can’t waste time by stopping the game a lot. In more competitive minor hockey leagues, there is stoppage time and a break between the second and third periods to clean the ice. Most of these games take about two hours to play. In these games, 15–18-year-olds with a lot of skill would play, and some might get picked up by a college or junior hockey league.

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How Long is A High School Hockey Game?

Let’s talk now about how long a high school hockey game lasts. Because fewer people are on each team and there is less time between periods, high school hockey games are shorter than NHL games. A high school hockey game has three periods, each 17 minutes long. In between each period, there is a 12-minute break. A typical high school hockey game lasts between 1:45 and 2 hours.

How Long are College Hockey Games?

How Long are Hockey Games

College hockey games are a lot like NHL games in that they are very competitive and last about the same amount of time, on average about two hours and 25 minutes. There are three 20-minute periods in college hockey games, but overtime is handled differently than in the NHL.

A game will usually end in a tie if the score is tied at the end of regulation. But if the game is part of the NCAA tournament, the officials of the tournament can let the game go into extra time.

How Long is an NHL Hockey Game?

Teams in the NHL play games that are split into three 20-minute segments. These three periods are called regulation time or actual game time. There are breaks between the first and second periods and the second and third periods. Ice hockey games move quickly because the clock keeps going as long as the puck is in play. During the breaks in an NHL game, the ice is cleaned, and sometimes there are fun events, like a junior league hockey game for kids. Fans can go to the concession stands, use the restrooms, and stretch their legs while the teams are in their locker rooms, so they don’t miss any of the 60 minutes of action when play resumes.

CHL Major Junior Games Length?

The Canadian Hockey League Major Junior league is on the same level as the NCAA in Canada. Some players get money to cover their living costs, and some have signed contracts with major league teams. By NCAA standards, the Major Junior League is professional because of these things.

The average Major Junior League game lasts 2 and a half hours. The rules for overtime in the CHL Major Junior league are the same as those in the NHL.

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When do Hockey Games Last Longer?

They can and do last longer if there are a lot of injuries or fights that stop the game. Time can also be added to a game through overtime and shootouts. In the playoffs, sudden death over time can also add much time to the game.

The official playtime is 20 minutes x 3 periods (1 hour), but the game stops when the referee blows the whistle. There is also a break between the first periods and second periods (2 x 17 minutes).

How Long Do Ice Hockey Games Last?

NHL games last for 60 minutes, split into three parts called “periods.” The 20-minute periods don’t include breaks in play, like when the puck goes off the ice or the 15-minute NHL breaks. If the score is tied, both teams have a five-minute overtime. If there is still no winner after five minutes of overtime, the winner is decided by a shootout.

How Long Are Adult League Hockey Games?

Adult hockey leagues tend to play by the rules of a particular area, just like high school leagues. But they still don’t go more than 60 minutes past regulation time most of the time. Ultimately, they last about an hour and a half to two hours, a little less than the NHL.

For instance, Colorado’s Lakewood adult hockey league rules say that each game will have three 14-minute periods. There won’t be sudden death over time if the regular game ends in a tie. The game will go straight to a shootout between the top three players.

How Long Do Hockey Games Last for Other Professional Leagues?

International, national, and junior leagues all play games for 60 minutes, just like the NHL (3 x 20-minute periods). See below for a list of the most popular leagues that are similar:

League Name

Game Length

Intermissions

American Hockey League (AHL)

60 minutes

15-18 minutes

Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)

60 minutes

17 minutes

National League (Swiss)

60 minutes

15 minutes

East Coast Hockey League (ECHL)

60 minutes

18 minutes

Swedish Hockey League (SHL)

60 minutes

18 minutes

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)

60 minutes

18 minutes

Ontario Hockey League (OHL)

60 minutes

15 minutes (1st Int)

18 minutes (2nd Int)

Western Hockey League (WHL)

60 minutes

18 minutes

NHL Playoffs Overtime Rules

During overtime, the amount of time in a playoff game is slightly different than in a regular season game.

In playoff games, there are no shootouts. Instead, each overtime period lasts 20 minutes, followed by a 15-minute break. If neither team scores in the overtime period, it is played again. Once a team scores a goal, the game is over.

Even though the official length of a hockey game is 60 minutes, most games last much longer. The average game lasts more than two hours from when the first puck is dropped until the end.

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What Determines the Length of a Hockey Game?

Intermission

The NHL and College leagues have breaks between the first and second periods. Each break is 17 minutes long.

Overtime

When the game is tied, 5 minutes of extra time are played.

Shootout

When the game is tied after overtime, there is a shootout. There is a shootout with three people, and it goes on until one team wins.

Playoffs

In the playoffs, there are different overtime rules. The game goes into 20 minutes of overtime until someone scores. If no goal is scored, there is a 15-minute break, and then the game goes into overtime for another 20 minutes.

Commercial Break

Every NHL game still has commercial breaks, but there are rules about how they can be used. The National Hockey League Commercial Coordinator oversees all of these commercial breaks and ensures they happen at the correct times during the game. There can’t be a commercial break after a goal or when the ice is broken.

How Many Periods in a Hockey Game?

In a hockey game, three periods of time must be played. Each round lasts 20 minutes. During the regular season, if the game is tied after 60 minutes, there will be an extra 5 minutes of play called “overtime” and a shootout. In the playoffs, there are 20-minute overtime periods that keep happening until one team scores.

During the regular season, NHL games only have one overtime period that lasts 5 minutes. During overtime, only three players are on the ice instead of five. The game goes to a shootout if there is no winner after 5 minutes of extra time. As was already said, playoff games don’t end in a shootout. Instead, they play 20-minute overtime periods until a winner is decided.

Similar to a penalty shot is a penalty shootout. It’s when each team picks three players to take a penalty shot, which is one-on-one against the other team’s goalie. Team A wins if they score on two of their three penalty shots, and Team B only scores on one of their three. If both teams score on their first three penalty shots, they keep taking penalty shots until one team misses.

How Early do People Typically Arrive at Hockey Matches?

You’ll need to get there a long time before the game starts to get a seat and get into the arena on time. Give yourself time to get through the lines and get some snacks. You might also want to get there early to watch the teams warm up. Seeing professional hockey players get ready for the game can be a unique thing to do.

If your game starts at 7, try to be in line at the correct gate by 6:15. The lines at the gates move pretty quickly, but once you get inside the concourse, it’s likely to be busy. How early you get there does depend on how big the arena is and how many people will be there. If you’re unsure, call the arena or show up a little early to ensure you don’t miss the start.

There are many things to see at professional sports arenas, so you can never be too early as long as you get there after the gates open. Casual fans can show up 5–10 minutes before the game starts, but diehard fans tend to show up much earlier. Since they go to the games often, season ticket holders may be there right when the puck drops.

If you have a special seat or a box, you may also want to get there early to drink. Since these seats are expensive, you’ll want to make the most of the luxury and enjoy every moment.

What Equipment do Players Need to Play Hockey?

When playing hockey, players need a lot of different types of gear. The most obvious need is a pair of hockey skates, which help players move quickly and efficiently on the ice. The blades on these skates need to be sharpened because dull blades can make it hard to move around on the ice.

Players also need a helmet and padding to keep their heads and bodies safe while they play. Extra gear like shin guards and gloves are also recommended because they protect you from bumps and scrapes even more.

Lastly, you need specific equipment like sticks, pucks, and goalkeepers to play well and compete in a game setting. If you want to do well at hockey, you need the right gear.

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How Long Are Hockey Intermissions?

Unless the game is shown on national TV, NHL breaks last 15.5 minutes. If the game is shown on national TV, the breaks are lengthened to 17 minutes to make room for TV timeouts. During the playoffs, there are 15-minute breaks between the third period and overtime and between each overtime period.

Hockey games in the minor leagues and college also have 15- to 17-minute breaks. High school halftimes last between 12 and 15 minutes, and youth league halftimes last 12 minutes. Before the game starts again, there are 5, 2, and 1-minute warnings to ensure it starts on time.

Factors that Affect the Length of Hockey Games

When discussing the things that affect game time, there are many things to consider. These things are:

  • The 20-minute length of each period is the main thing that determines how long the game will last.
  • Intermissions in the NHL last 15 minutes so players can rest and prepare for the next period. The length of a period, the size of a break, and overtime are the most critical factors that affect how long a game lasts.
  • When it comes to the length of a game, overtime is the biggest unknown because if it goes past the five-minute overtime period, a shootout can change the size of the game in unpredictable ways.
  • Injury timeouts often happen in hockey because players get hurt constantly.
  • Penalties are one of the few times when the game stops and starts again, but this doesn’t change the game clock. It only changes how long each game lasts.
  • Fights are one of the most exciting parts of a hockey game. They also make games last longer.
  • If a game is shown on TV, there will be times when ads are shown.

Hockey Game Warmups

Before the game, the players warm up to get their bodies and minds ready for the game. They skate on the ice, use their sticks, shoot at the goalie, do dry-land training in the locker room, and talk to their teammates about plays. In ice hockey, moving your hands and eyes together is essential. The players must be able to control the puck and decide quickly what to do with it.

It’s also essential to get ready mentally for the game. The players must keep their minds on the game and be prepared to play. They need to know their job on the team and what they need to do to help the team win.

Warming up before the game is essential if the players want to do well. They need to be ready in both body and mind for the game.

What Stops The Hockey Game?

When the refs blow their whistles, play stops. Depending on the league, the clock may or may not stop.

Play will stop when:

  • A penalty is committed
  • A goal is scored
  • A goalie possesses the puck and does not return it to play
  • The puck is hit out of the rink
  • A serious injury occurs

Most of these reasons are factual, but a few are up to the referee to decide. For example, if a goalie keeps the puck for more than about 3 seconds. However, if the referee sees the goalie pick up the puck and then try to pass it to a teammate, the whistle will not be blown.

When the clock is running, the last few minutes of the game will have different rules so that the team in the lead can’t waste time by stopping play. Some of these rules could be that the clock stops when the whistle blows in the last three minutes of the third period or that a team gets a penalty if they try to run out of the clock by taking too long between breaks.

Most youth hockey leagues have a rule about when to call it quits. Instead of ending the game early as most American sports do, the officials will keep the clock going no matter what happens.

Conclusion

Because so much is happening, hockey games seem to go by faster than other sports. In reality, hockey games are just as long as other professional sports. Professional hockey games aren’t going to get shorter any time soon. Fans might not be upset because there is so much going on.

When there were more fights, NHL games were all longer. The stricter penalties for fighting have done their job. Now, if only there were a penalty for having too many ads.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How Long are Hockey Games

What’s the Longest Hockey Game Ever Played?

In 1936, a game between the Detroit Redwings and the Montreal Maroons was the longest ever played. They played nearly six full periods of extra time. Mud Bruneteau, a rookie, scored the game-winning goal for the Redwings after 16.5 minutes of the sixth overtime period. The game ended with a score of 1-0 at 2:25 am, after 116.5 minutes of extra time.

How many periods in a hockey game?

How many periods are there in a hockey game, and how long are they? It’s easy. In hockey, there are three periods, each lasting 20 minutes, for 60 minutes of play.

How long is a professional hockey game?

Different leagues may have different game lengths than the NHL, but three 20-minute periods is a standard length.

How Many Intermissions Are in Hockey?

You can see that there are usually two breaks between the first and second breaks. And other times between 2 and 3. In playoff situations, there is sometimes an extra break during overtime.

How long are hockey games on TV?

It has to do with hockey games on TV that last two to three hours if they don’t stop because of long commercial breaks. The time-out doesn’t change whether it’s on TV or not. Don’t worry about it, because you’ll enjoy it for a long time.

Can Hockey Games End in a Tie?

During the 2005-2006 season, the NHL changed its overtime rules so that games could no longer end in a tie. Before the 2005 season, fans might have watched a game for hours only to see it end in a tie. With the new rule, the winner of an NHL game is now decided by which team scores in a shootout.

What month is the hockey season? 

Most of the time, games occur between early October and early April. Even though teams usually play 82 games, that show how they did.

How Long Are OHL Games?

The other game in the Ontario Hockey League lasted almost 2 hours. Sometimes the league would have 18 breaks, which didn’t change the game’s length. But the OHL league has also made it easier to stream games, which is excellent.

How Long Is An AHL Hockey Game? 

Hockey games in the major and minor leagues last 60 minutes, broken up into three periods with at least two breaks in between. There is also a chance that the game will go into overtime.

Do all ice hockey games consist of 20-minute periods?

No. A lot of games for kids are a lot shorter. Some junior and amateur hockey leagues change the length of their games based on how long they can use the ice. Other games may be on the schedule that day, so the clock is changed to fit.

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