Most sporting activities play their gamings in quarters or halves. Yet in hockey, the play occurs in periods. This usage of durations is less self-explanatory than a quarter or halves. How plenty of of these periods execute NHL gamings have? are the durations all the same length of time? Is overtime a period? This short article will walk into detail on hockey’s periods and cover just how overtime determinants into a game’s usual rules.

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Hockey games constantly have three periods. At the NHL level, periods run for 20 minutes each. Recreational and youth hockey periods are usually between 15 and also 20 minutes each. Gamings that space tied at the end of three periods get in overtime, i m sorry is a shorter duration of extra time play. Overtime is five minutes in the regular season, but it transforms to a 20-minute sudden-death layout in the playoffs.


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How countless Periods are in a Hockey Game?

Fornewcomers come the sport of hockey, this concern of “periods” can be a confuse one.

Sportssuch as basketball and football pat in “quarters,” which clearly refers tofour parts of a whole game. Soccer plays “halves,” dividing the game into twoparts.


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But hockey is played in periods. Every hockey game always has three of these periods. This periods can vary in length depending on the level that hockey gift played. But three periods, each of the exact same amount of time, are standard nevertheless of your duration.

Everyone associated with the game from the players to spectators and also commentators refers to the durations as the “first period,” “second period,” and also “third period.” The rule and structure that a three-period, 20-minute game were first implemented in the national Hockey association (NHA) in the 1910-11 season. Before 1910, games were in reality played in two 30-minute periods.

The NHA later reorganized itself and also in 1917 released as the national Hockey organization (NHL) that we know today. The NHL has always retained the three-period, 20-minute video game structure. The only exception to the three-period structure comes if the video game is tied at the finish of regulation time. In that case, the game goes into overtime.

Is Overtime a period in Hockey?

Overtimedoes count as a duration in hockey. But it isn’t specifically viewed or referred to asthe fourth period – the seen much more as extra time.

In other words, nobody calls overtime the “fourth period.” the simply dubbed “overtime.” Overtime plays do count toward player and also goaltender statistics together they would throughout regulation play. Overtime is an extension of regulation play, so its result is reflected in the stat-sheet.

If a goal isn’t score in the standard single overtime period, many leagues then end up the game in a shootout. The shootout does no count as a period in the game and occurs there is no time on the clock. Uneven overtime, shootout dram (e.g. Goals, saves) do not count toward the continuous stats of the shooters and also the goalies. Separate shootout stats space kept, yet the shootout itself just determines the last winner that the game.

More ~ above this in my write-up on OTL.

How long Is a Hockey Period?


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A standard period of hockey lasts because that 20 minutes. Professional hockey leagues, such together the NHL, minor agree leagues, significant junior leagues, and also European leagues constantly play 20-minute periods.

These 3 20-minute periods incorporate for what is a 60-minute game. In expert leagues, there is one intermission the separates the end of the first period native the start of the 2nd period, and also the finish of the second period from the start of the 3rd period. This intermissions and stoppages in play add up to do the game last much longer than the actual 60 minutes of video game action. But intermissions, the course, don’t counting as periods in the game.

In recreational and also youth leagues, periods have the right to be much shorter than 20 minutes. Usually, though, lock don’t operation for much less than 15 minutes per period. 15-minute periods are regularly used since arena ice bookings might only last for between 60 and 90 minutes. These games won’t have intermissions like experienced leagues do, so the game needs to fit into the briefer timeslot. To account because that stoppages in play and a momentary pause for the between duration reset, shorter periods room arranged beforehand.

Because ice timeslots run close together, most of these recreational leagues i will not ~ play overtime if a video game ends the regulation time in a tie. Part leagues will certainly arrange for a fast shootout, but other leagues still permit for gamings to finish in a tie. Experienced leagues no longer finish with tie games. This rule readjusted beginning in the 2005-06 season once the NHL had actually just changed from the lost lockout season the 2004-05.


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Prior to2005, in NHL continuous season games, groups would play a single five-minuteovertime duration if the game’s regulation time finished in a tie.

If neitherteam scored in the 5 minutes, the game would finish in a tie and also both teamswould obtain one point in the standings because that the tie – vice versa, a winner wouldreceive two points.

How perform Playoff Overtime periods Work?

In the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, overtime periods run for the same size of time together a standard period – 20 minutes.

These playoff overtime periods are “sudden death” end time, an interpretation that they save running till one team scores a goal. It’s dubbed “sudden death” since the game ends as quickly as one team scores – uneven the extra time in soccer, for example, which have the right to have multiple goals scored across add-on time.

The playoff overtime durations run for 20 minutes and will function a shorter intermission if subsequent durations are required beyond the very first one. The intermission basically lasts as long as that takes because that the Zamboni to resurface the ice, fairly than wait the full 17 minutes of the conventional intermission break.

Once again, this overtime periods aren’t described as the game’s “fourth period” (and therefore on, if the playoff video game requires more overtime periods). Instead, additional overtime periods are dubbed “double overtime” (and therefore on). The overtime periods are abbreviation at 1OT, 2OT, 3OT, and so on.

So, back every various other hockey video game will limit you to a best of 65 minute (60 minutes of regulation plus five minutes of overtime), playoff overtime can prolong well past the expression of a usual three-period hockey game.

See more: How Long Is A Little League Baseball Game Last? Little League Baseball® Divisions


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Especially lengthy playoff overtime gamings aren’t all that common, however the NHL playoffs will certainly usually function at the very least a couple of games the reach twin and, occasionally, triple-overtime every year.

In the modern era the the NHL, the longest overtime game finished 12 minutes right into the 5th overtime period. That method the game played the identical of seven-and-a-half conventional periods. This record-breaking overtime game was winner by the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the eastern Conference Semifinals in 2000.

But this type of expanded playoff overtime represents the extreme end of the hockey period scale. Most expert league gamings will just play the traditional 20-minute, three-period format. Recreational and youth leagues typically play shorter periods as well. Overtime counts together a period, in a lessened extra time form. The only time hockey goes beyond the overtime period’s fourth frame is in sudden-death playoff hockey, which is played till one team scores.