Most sports play their gamings in quarters or halves. Yet in hockey, the play wake up in periods. This usage of periods is much less self-explanatory than a quarter or halves. How numerous of this periods carry out NHL games have? are the periods all the same size of time? Is overtime a period? This write-up will go into information on hockey’s periods and cover how overtime components into a game’s normal 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 durations are usually between 15 and 20 minute each. Gamings that space tied at the finish of 3 periods enter overtime, i m sorry is a shorter period of extra time play. Overtime is 5 minutes in the continuous season, however it alters to a 20-minute sudden-death layout in the playoffs.

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How numerous Periods are in a Hockey Game?

Fornewcomers come the sports of hockey, this concern of “periods” have the right to be a confusing one.

Sportssuch together basketball and football beat in “quarters,” which clearly refers tofour parts of a whole game. Football plays “halves,” splitting the game into twoparts.


But hockey is played in periods. Every hockey game constantly has three of these periods. These periods deserve to vary in length depending upon the level the hockey being played. But three periods, every of the same amount of time, room standard nevertheless of your duration.

Everyone affiliated with the video game from the football player to spectators and also commentators describes the periods as the “first period,” “second period,” and “third period.” The rule and also structure of a three-period, 20-minute video game were first implemented in the nationwide Hockey combination (NHA) in the 1910-11 season. Before 1910, gamings were in reality played in 2 30-minute periods.

The NHA later reorganized itself and in 1917 launched as the nationwide Hockey league (NHL) the we know today. The NHL has constantly retained the three-period, 20-minute video game structure. The only exemption to the three-period framework comes if the video game is tied in ~ the end of regulation time. In the case, the game goes into overtime.

Is Overtime a period in Hockey?

Overtimedoes count together a period in hockey. However it isn’t specifically viewed or described asthe fourth period – the seen an ext as extra time.

In various other words, nobody calls overtime the “fourth period.” it’s simply called “overtime.” Overtime plays execute count towards player and also goaltender statistics together they would during regulation play. Overtime is an expansion of regulation play, so its outcome is reflect in the stat-sheet.

If a score isn’t scored in the standard single overtime period, most leagues then finish the video game in a shootout. The shootout does no count together a duration in the game and also occurs without time on the clock. Uneven overtime, shootout theatre (e.g. Goals, saves) execute not count towards the regular stats of the shooters and the goalies. Different shootout stats are kept, yet the shootout itself only determines the last winner the the game.

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

How lengthy Is a Hockey Period?


A standard duration of hockey lasts because that 20 minutes. Expert hockey leagues, such together the NHL, minor pro leagues, major junior leagues, and also European leagues always play 20-minute periods.

These three 20-minute periods integrate for what is a 60-minute game. In experienced leagues, over there is one intermission that separates the finish of the an initial period indigenous the begin of the 2nd period, and the finish of the second duration from the begin of the third period. These intermissions and stoppages in play add up to make the game last much longer than the yes, really 60 minute of game action. Yet intermissions, that course, don’t counting as periods in the game.

In recreational and youth leagues, periods can be much shorter than 20 minutes. Usually, though, castle don’t run for much less than 15 minutes every period. 15-minute durations are regularly used due to the fact that arena ice bookings might only critical for between 60 and 90 minutes. These gamings won’t have actually intermissions like professional leagues do, for this reason the video game needs to fit into the briefer timeslot. To account because that stoppages in play and also a short-lived pause for the between duration reset, much shorter periods room arranged beforehand.

Because ice timeslots operation close together, most of this recreational leagues i will not ~ play overtime if a video game ends that regulation time in a tie. Some leagues will arrange for a fast shootout, yet other leagues still permit for gamings to end in a tie. Skilled leagues no longer finish with tie games. This rule adjusted beginning in the 2005-06 season when the NHL had actually just changed from the lost lockout season of 2004-05.


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

If neitherteam scored in the five minutes, the video game would end in a tie and both teamswould get one suggest in the standings for the tie – conversely, a winner wouldreceive 2 points.

How carry out Playoff Overtime durations Work?

In the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, overtime durations run for the same size of time as a standard duration – 20 minutes.

These playoff overtime periods are “sudden death” over time, an interpretation that they store running until one team scores a goal. It’s referred to as “sudden death” due to the fact that the video game ends as soon as one team scores – uneven the extra time in soccer, for example, which deserve to have multiple purposes scored across add-on time.

The playoff overtime periods run for 20 minutes and will attribute a much shorter intermission if subsequent durations are required past the very first one. The intermission usually lasts as lengthy as the takes because that the Zamboni to resurface the ice, quite than waiting the complete 17 minutes of the standard intermission break.

Once again, these overtime periods aren’t described as the game’s “fourth period” (and for this reason on, if the playoff game requires further overtime periods). Instead, additional overtime periods are referred to as “double overtime” (and therefore on). The overtime durations are abbreviated at 1OT, 2OT, 3OT, and also so on.

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

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Especially long playoff overtime games aren’t all the common, however the NHL playoffs will usually feature at least a few games that reach double 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 means the video game played the identical of seven-and-a-half conventional periods. This record-breaking overtime video game was won by the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the east Conference Semifinals in 2000.

But this kind of prolonged playoff overtime to represent the extreme finish of the hockey duration scale. Most skilled league gamings will just play the standard 20-minute, three-period format. Recreational and youth leagues generally play shorter periods as well. Overtime counts as a period, in a diminished extra time form. The just time hockey goes past the overtime period’s fourth frame is in sudden-death playoff hockey, which is played till one team scores.