How Long are Hockey Games? Unveil the Thrilling Duration!

Have you ever wondered how long a hockey game lasts? Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just curious about the sport, understanding the duration of a hockey game is essential. In this article, we’ll delve into the specifics of how long hockey games typically last and what factors can influence their duration.

How Long are Hockey Games? Unveil the Thrilling Duration!


Regulation Play

In a typical professional hockey game, regulation play consists of three periods, each lasting 20 minutes. This means that the total game time for regulation play is 60 minutes. However, when factoring in stoppages, such as penalties, timeouts, and intermissions, the actual time it takes to complete a regulation game can be much longer.


If the score is tied at the end of regulation play, the game will proceed to overtime. Overtime in hockey is an additional period of play that is used to determine a winner if the score remains tied after regulation. In the NHL, overtime consists of a five-minute period of 3-on-3 sudden death play. If neither team scores during overtime, the game will proceed to a shootout.


A shootout is a tie-breaking method used in hockey to determine the winner of a game if neither team scores during overtime. Each team selects three players to take alternate shots against the opposing team’s goaltender. If the score remains tied after the initial three shooters, the shootout will proceed to a sudden death format until a winner is determined.

Factors Affecting Game Length

While the standard duration of a hockey game is 60 minutes for regulation play, the actual length of a game can vary based on several factors. Penalties, injuries, and video reviews can all contribute to the overall duration of a game. Additionally, overtime and shootouts can extend the length of a game beyond the standard 60 minutes.


Penalties in hockey can result in stoppages of play and extended game time. When a player commits a penalty, they are required to sit in the penalty box for a specified amount of time, during which their team plays shorthanded. Depending on the severity of the penalty, the opposing team may have a power play, leading to additional stoppages in play.


Injuries to players can also impact the duration of a hockey game. When a player is injured on the ice, play is typically stopped to attend to the injured player. Depending on the severity of the injury, play may be delayed for an extended period, leading to a longer game time.

Video Reviews

Video review has become an integral part of officiating in hockey, allowing officials to review certain plays to ensure the correct call is made. While video review can help ensure the accuracy of calls, it can also result in additional stoppages in play and prolong the duration of a game.

How Long are Hockey Games? Unveil the Thrilling Duration!


Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does A Hockey Game Last?

A typical hockey game lasts for approximately 2 to 2. 5 hours, including three 20-minute periods.

Why Do Hockey Games Have Three Periods?

Hockey games have three periods to provide players with rest periods and allow for strategy adjustments between periods.

How Many Minutes Is Each Period In A Hockey Game?

Each period in a hockey game is 20 minutes long, with intermissions between periods for players to rest.

Are There Any Breaks During A Hockey Game?

Yes, there are breaks between periods in a hockey game, allowing players to rest and strategize for the upcoming period.


In conclusion, the duration of a hockey game can vary based on a variety of factors, including regulation play, overtime, penalties, injuries, and video reviews. While a standard regulation game lasts 60 minutes, the actual time it takes to complete a game can be influenced by these factors. Understanding the various elements that can impact the length of a hockey game can help fans appreciate the intricacies of the sport and the strategies involved in each match.

For more information on the lifespan of horses, check out our detailed guide on: “How Long Do Horses Live: Unveiling Their Lifespan Secrets”

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