How Long is a Hockey Game? Uncover the Thrilling Timeline!

Have you ever wondered how long a hockey game lasts? Whether you’re a die-hard fan or someone who’s just curious about the sport, understanding the duration of a hockey game is essential. In this article, we’ll explore the various factors that contribute to the length of a hockey game, from the standard game time to potential overtime periods and more.

Standard Game Time

Typically, a standard hockey game consists of three periods, each lasting 20 minutes. This means that the total game time, excluding stoppages and intermissions, is 60 minutes. However, it’s important to note that the actual duration of a hockey game can be significantly longer due to various stoppages in play.

Stoppages In Play

During a hockey game, there are several instances that result in stoppages in play. These include penalties, icing, offside calls, and the puck going out of play. Additionally, the game clock is stopped whenever the play is halted, further extending the overall duration of the game.

Furthermore, the frequency and duration of stoppages can vary depending on the style of play, officiating, and the strategies employed by the teams. As a result, the total time elapsed for a standard hockey game can exceed the 60-minute mark.

Overtime and Shootouts

In the event of a tie at the end of regulation play, overtime periods may be implemented to determine a winner. In the National Hockey League (NHL), overtime consists of a sudden-death period lasting 5 minutes, during which the first team to score wins the game. If neither team scores during this period, a shootout may take place to determine the winner.

During a shootout, each team selects a predetermined number of players to take penalty shots against the opposing goaltender. The team with the most goals at the end of the shootout is declared the winner. These overtime periods and shootouts can significantly extend the overall duration of a hockey game.

How Long is a Hockey Game? Uncover the Timeline!


Intermissions and Commercial Breaks

Aside from the actual game time, intermissions and commercial breaks also contribute to the length of a hockey game. Between periods, there are intermissions that typically last around 15 minutes, allowing the players to rest and regroup before returning to the ice.

Additionally, commercial breaks are a common occurrence during televised hockey games. These breaks provide opportunities for advertisements and sponsor promotions, further extending the duration of the broadcasted game.

Factors Affecting Game Length

Several factors can influence the overall duration of a hockey game. These include the pace of play, the number of penalties and stoppages, the effectiveness of the officiating, and the strategies employed by the teams. For instance, a game with frequent stoppages and penalties is likely to last longer than one with minimal interruptions.

How Long is a Hockey Game? Uncover the Timeline!


Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does A Hockey Game Typically Last?

A hockey game usually lasts about 2-3 hours, including intermissions and overtime periods.

How Many Periods Are In A Hockey Game?

A hockey game consists of 3 periods, each lasting 20 minutes of play time.

Is There A Halftime In A Hockey Game?

No, there is no halftime in a hockey game. Instead, there are two intermissions, each lasting 15 minutes.

How Long Is The Intermission Between Periods?

The intermission between periods in a hockey game is 15 minutes.


In conclusion, the length of a hockey game can vary depending on a multitude of factors. While the standard game time is 60 minutes, the actual duration can be extended due to stoppages in play, overtime periods, shootouts, intermissions, and commercial breaks. Understanding these factors is essential for fans, broadcasters, and anyone interested in the sport of hockey.

So, the next time you tune in to watch a hockey game, you’ll have a better understanding of why the game may last longer than the standard 60 minutes. Whether it’s the thrill of overtime or the anticipation of a shootout, the duration of a hockey game adds to the excitement and unpredictability of the sport.

To delve deeper into the secrets of human speed, check out our comprehensive guide on: “How Fast Can a Human Run: Unleashing Speed Secrets”

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