From every the major league sports in phibìc America and also worldwide, hockey uniquely divides up its play time.

You are watching: How many quarters in ice hockey

For basketball and also football, leagues are split into 4 quarters, while football is divided into 2 halves and baseball into 9 innings. In addition, every of this sports has their own method of settling tie games, and also hockey is no exception.

How countless periods room in a hockey game?

There are 3 durations in a hockey game comprised of 20 minutes every (or 60 minutes total). If the score is tied ~ sixty minutes, the game will expand to a 5-minute overtime period followed by a shootout. During the playoffs, groups will beat sudden-death overtime to clear up a tie i m sorry is also made increase of 20-minute periods.


Were NHL hockey games always 3 periods long?

NHL games were not always 3 durations long. Before the 1910-11 season, NHL games were comprised of 2 x 30-minute durations (source).

The key reason why games were divided into 3 periods had actually to execute with the high quality of the ice for the players. The NHL decided it would be an ext beneficial come resurface the ice v the Zamboni every 20 minutes rather than 30 minutes. The much more you beat on an ice surface, there will be accumulation of eye and higher potential because that grooves and also ice chips to build as that softens.

Actually, the buildup of snow causes the game to slow down together the puck cannot take trip as smoothly because of the greater amount of friction. Furthermore, the grooves can reason players to sluggish down together with the in its entirety speed that the game.

Ice chips have actually the unfortunately potential of leading to serious injuries come players. In ~ minimum, the ice chips can cause players to unexpectedly pilgrimage to the ice. And much more seriously, a player’s skate deserve to get captured in the groove or chip leading to severe leg injuries (sprains or take it ACLs/MCLs, etc.).

Keep in mind that although periods are each 20 minutes long, the yes, really time players spend on the ice each period is about 40-45 minutes in real-time. This consists of all the stoppages in between plays such together from penalties, goals, injuries, time-outs and also more.

The NHL presented intermissions between periods come resurface the ice, starting at 10 minute long. Eventually, the intermissions reached 17-minutes long killing numerous birds through one stone:

Resurfacing the the ice

As discussed earlier, the intermission time is supplied to resurface the ice for optimal playing conditions.

Player Breaks and also Team Regroup

Players and also coaches are went back to their respective dressing rooms therefore they can basically remainder up between periods. In addition, the team coaches comment on strategies to readjust the course of the game and regroup their players.

Spectator Breaks: Food, Beverages and Bathroom

Audience members deserve to use the moment to restock up on food and beverages together the game length in real-time is 2.5+ hours long. Because many spectators enjoy drinking alcohol addict beverages, the require for the bathroom break is essential. If you’ve ever before attended any sporting event, particularly a hockey game, the bathrooms get very packed during the breaks.


For viewers the town hall the game at home, the league uses the intermissions come advertise their sponsors v commercials. This is in enhancement to the booked TV timeouts during each period.

Audience members are likewise subject come advertisements on the main scoreboard throughout the intermission pauses. Depending upon the venue, the organization will use the intermission time come launch totally free t-shirts to spectators or provide out freebies indigenous the rafters (or remote-controlled blimps) from in-house sponsors.

Can a hockey video game last much longer than 3 periods?

NHL and also other expert league games can certainly last longer than 3 periods (also well-known as regulation time). As mentioned earlier, if the game is tied after ~ 60 minute (3 periods) that play, the video game will head to overtime.

In the consistent season, there is a 5-minute overtime throughout which teams play 3-on-3. If the video game is quiet tied ~ overtime, the video game is worked out through a shootout session. It have to be provided that the ice is no resurfaced any time ~ the 3rd period.

See more: What Can You Use Instead Of Epsom Salt ? (9 Alternatives) What Can I Use Instead Of Epsom Salt

In the playoffs, the rules space slightly various as gamings are determined by sudden fatality overtime. The is, the game can only be worked out once one of two people team scores the next and deciding goal. Therefore, the teams are went back to their dressing rooms following the 3rd and every subsequent duration for a 15 and a half minutes intermission. The overtime periods are likewise 20 minutes long and are play 5-on-5.