Most sports play their games in soldier or halves. However in hockey, the play wake up in periods. This use of periods is less self-explanatory than a quarter or halves. How many of these periods carry out NHL games have? space the durations all the same length of time? Is overtime a period? This write-up will go into detail on hockey’s periods and also cover how overtime factors into a game’s usual rules.

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Hockey games always have 3 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 are tied at the finish of 3 periods get in overtime, which is a shorter period of extra time play. Overtime is 5 minutes in the continuous season, yet it transforms 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” can be a confuse one.

Sportssuch together basketball and football play in “quarters,” which plainly refers tofour parts of a totality game. Football plays “halves,” dividing the game into twoparts.


But hockey is play in periods. Every hockey game constantly has three of this periods. These periods deserve to vary in length relying on the level the hockey gift played. Yet three periods, each of the same amount of time, space standard nevertheless of your duration.

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

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

Is Overtime a period in Hockey?

Overtimedoes count together a duration in hockey. But it isn’t precisely viewed or described asthe fourth duration – it’s seen more as extra time.

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

If a goal isn’t score in the standard solitary overtime period, many leagues then end up the game in a shootout. The shootout does no count as a duration in the game and occurs there is no time on the clock. Uneven overtime, shootout plays (e.g. Goals, saves) perform not count towards the continuous stats the the shooters and the goalies. Different shootout stats are kept, however the shootout itself just determines the final winner of the game.

More top top this in my write-up on OTL.

How long Is a Hockey Period?


A standard period of hockey lasts for 20 minutes. Experienced hockey leagues, such together the NHL, minor pro leagues, major junior leagues, and also European leagues always play 20-minute periods.

These 3 20-minute periods incorporate for what is a 60-minute game. In professional leagues, there is an intermission the separates the end of the first period native the start of the second period, and also the end of the second period from the start of the third period. This intermissions and stoppages in play include up to do the game last much longer than the really 60 minute of game action. But intermissions, that course, don’t count as durations in the game.

In recreational and youth leagues, periods deserve to be much shorter than 20 minutes. Usually, though, lock don’t run for much less than 15 minutes per period. 15-minute durations are regularly used due to the fact that arena ice bookings may only critical for in between 60 and also 90 minutes. These gamings won’t have actually intermissions like expert leagues do, therefore the video game needs come fit into the briefer timeslot. To account for stoppages in play and also a momentary pause because that the between duration reset, much shorter periods space arranged beforehand.

Because ice cream timeslots run close together, most of this recreational leagues won’t play overtime if a game ends that is regulation time in a tie. Some leagues will certainly arrange for a rapid shootout, yet other leagues still enable for gamings to finish in a tie. Skilled leagues no longer end with tie games. This rule adjusted beginning in the 2005-06 season once the NHL had actually just reverted from the lost lockout season of 2004-05.


Prior to2005, in NHL continuous season games, teams would beat a solitary five-minuteovertime period if the game’s regulation time ended in a tie.

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

How do Playoff Overtime periods Work?

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

These playoff overtime durations are “sudden death” end time, definition that they save running until one team scores a goal. It’s referred to as “sudden death” since the video game ends as shortly as one team scores – unlike the extra time in soccer, because that example, which can have multiple objectives scored across add-on time.

The playoff overtime periods run for 20 minutes and will function a shorter intermission if subsequent periods are required beyond the an initial one. The intermission usually lasts as long as the takes because that the Zamboni to resurface the ice, rather than wait the full 17 minutes of the standard intermission break.

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

So, return every other hockey game will border you to a maximum of 65 minutes (60 minutes of regulation plus five minutes of overtime), playoff overtime can expand well past the term of a common three-period hockey game.

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Especially long playoff overtime games aren’t all the common, but the NHL playoffs will usually attribute at least a few games the reach twin and, occasionally, triple-overtime every year.

In the contemporary era of the NHL, the longest overtime game ended 12 minutes right into the 5th overtime period. That method the game played the equivalent of seven-and-a-half typical 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 form of prolonged playoff overtime to represent the extreme finish of the hockey duration scale. Most professional league gamings will just play the typical 20-minute, three-period format. Recreational and youth leagues generally play shorter periods as well. Overtime counts together a period, in a decreased extra time form. The just time hockey goes past the overtime period’s 4th frame is in sudden-death playoff hockey, which is played until one team scores.