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AP Photo/Nick Wass

Every sport has its idiosyncrasies, and ice hockey is no different.

You are watching: How long are periods in hockey

Part of occurring a sport is comes up through the way the games will be structured. Take, for example, soccer, i beg your pardon is traditionally divided into halves. The NBA and the NFL have four quarters to their games. Major organization Baseball has nine innings, although now doubleheaders are only seven innings.


What about a hockey game, though? exactly how are NHL games structured? There’s regulation time, that course, however a National Hockey League game is not always bound to the temporal restrictions of regulation.

So just how does the NHL divvy increase its time? and how deserve to it different from one ice cream hockey video game to the next?

How numerous Periods in Hockey?

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The NHL’s regular-season games are divided right into three 20-minute periods. This has been the situation in the NHL, and in other establishments like IIHF, for rather some time.

Over a century ago, NHL games were separated into two 30-minute halves, but nobody left lively remembers those days.

After the very first period comes the first intermission, which enables the players to remainder in the locker room. However, intermissions are about much more than rest. It’s additionally the time for the Zamboni come resurface the hockey rink.

Ice skates perform some real damage to the ice, and a poor-quality rink provides for bad quality place. Typically speaking, the NHL employs a 17-minute intermission. Over there is one more intermission after the second period, and also if a team is ahead at the end of the third period the video game ends.


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However, if the video game is tied on the scoreboard at the finish of regulation climate we get some overtime.

The NHL’s overtime period during the regular season is five minutes that sudden fatality hockey. That means if a team scores first, lock win. Before overtime, the ice surface may acquire a little of a sprucing up but there is no true intermission.

Over the last pair of decades, the NHL has actually tweaked its regular-season overtime rules. There supplied to be 5 skaters a side, to add a goalie — as with during regulation play. After a time, the NHL moved come four-on-four overtime.

Why? because if the video game was tied at the finish of the five-minute overtime, that would finish in a tie, and North American sports are adverse to draws. The hope was four-on-four would lead to more scoring.

Starting with the 2015-16 NHL season, the league moved come three-on-three overtime. It’s not basic on defensemen or goaltenders, but it yielded much more games decided in sudden fatality overtime. The league wants that, since there space no longer ties in the NHL.

After 5 minutes of overtime in the NHL continual season they employ a shootout. In one NHL shootout, 3 hockey players from each team are preferred to walk one-on-one v the the contrary goalie.

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If one team scores an ext goals out of those three chances they win. If they room tied, the shootout continues. In the NHL, you have to used a various shooter for every attempt until you operation out, however in Olympic pat a team is enabled to usage a player lot of times.