Most sporting activities play their games in quarters or halves. However in hockey, the play wake up in periods. This usage of durations is much less self-explanatory than a 4 minutes 1 or halves. How numerous of this periods carry out NHL gamings have? room the periods all the same length of time? Is overtime a period? This write-up will go into information on hockey’s periods and cover how overtime determinants into a game’s usual rules.

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Hockey games constantly have three periods. At the NHL level, durations run for 20 minutes each. Recreational and also youth hockey periods are usually between 15 and also 20 minute each. Gamings that room tied in ~ the end of three periods get in overtime, i beg your pardon is a shorter period of extra time play. Overtime is five minutes in the constant season, yet it alters to a 20-minute sudden-death style in the playoffs.

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How countless Periods room in a Hockey Game?

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

Sportssuch together basketball and also football pat in “quarters,” which clearly refers tofour components of a whole game. Football plays “halves,” dividing the game into twoparts.


But hockey is played in periods. Every hockey game always has three of these periods. These periods can vary in length depending upon the level that hockey being played. But three periods, every of the same amount that time, room standard regardless of your duration.

Everyone associated with the game from the players to spectators and also commentators describes the periods 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 national Hockey combination (NHA) in the 1910-11 season. Before 1910, gamings were actually played in 2 30-minute periods.

The NHA later on reorganized itself and also in 1917 released as the nationwide Hockey organization (NHL) that we recognize today. The NHL has constantly retained the three-period, 20-minute video game structure. The only exemption to the three-period structure comes if the video game is tied at the finish of regulation time. In that case, the video game goes right into overtime.

Is Overtime a period in Hockey?

Overtimedoes count together a duration in hockey. However it isn’t specifically viewed or referred to asthe fourth period – the seen more as extra time.

In other words, no one calls overtime the “fourth period.” that simply referred to as “overtime.” Overtime plays do count towards player and goaltender statistics together they would during regulation play. Overtime is an extension of regulation play, so its result is reflect in the stat-sheet.

If a score isn’t score in the standard solitary overtime period, most leagues then complete the video game in a shootout. The shootout does no count together a duration in the game and occurs without time ~ above the clock. Uneven overtime, shootout plays (e.g. Goals, saves) carry out not count towards the continual stats the the shooters and the goalies. Different shootout stats room kept, yet the shootout itself only determines the final winner of the game.

More top top this in my post on OTL.

How lengthy Is a Hockey Period?


A standard period of hockey lasts because that 20 minutes. Skilled hockey leagues, such together the NHL, minor pro leagues, major junior leagues, and 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 one intermission that separates the finish of the an initial period from the start of the second period, and also the end of the second duration from the start of the 3rd period. These intermissions and stoppages in play add up to make the game last much longer than the really 60 minutes of game action. Yet intermissions, of course, don’t counting as durations in the game.

In recreational and also youth leagues, periods have the right to be much shorter than 20 minutes. Usually, though, castle don’t run for less than 15 minutes every period. 15-minute durations are often used because arena ice cream bookings might only critical for in between 60 and also 90 minutes. These games won’t have intermissions like experienced leagues do, therefore the video game needs come fit into the briefer timeslot. To account because that stoppages in play and a short-lived pause because that the between period reset, shorter periods space arranged beforehand.

Because ice timeslots run close together, most of these recreational leagues i will not ~ play overtime if a video game ends the regulation time in a tie. Part leagues will arrange because that a fast shootout, yet other leagues still enable for games to end in a tie. Skilled leagues no longer finish with tie games. This rule readjusted beginning in the 2005-06 season as soon as the NHL had just changed from the lost lockout season that 2004-05.


Prior to2005, in NHL consistent season games, groups would play a single five-minuteovertime duration if the game’s regulation time ended in a tie.

If neitherteam score in the five minutes, the video game would finish in a tie and both teamswould get one point in the standings because that the tie – vice versa, a winner wouldreceive 2 points.

How execute Playoff Overtime periods Work?

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

These playoff overtime durations are “sudden death” end time, definition that they keep running till one team scores a goal. It’s referred to as “sudden death” since the video game ends as soon as one team scores – unlike the extra time in soccer, for example, which deserve to have multiple goals scored throughout add-on time.

The playoff overtime durations run for 20 minutes and will feature a shorter intermission if subsequent periods are required beyond the an initial one. The intermission usually lasts as lengthy as the takes because that the Zamboni come resurface the ice, quite than waiting the complete 17 minutes of the traditional intermission break.

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

So, although every various other hockey video game will border you come a preferably of 65 minute (60 minute of regulation plus 5 minutes of overtime), playoff overtime can prolong well beyond the term of a common three-period hockey game.

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Especially lengthy playoff overtime games aren’t all that common, however the NHL playoffs will usually function at the very least a few games the reach dual and, occasionally, triple-overtime every year.

In the modern era the the NHL, the longest overtime game ended 12 minutes right into the fifth overtime period. That way the video game played the indistinguishable of seven-and-a-half conventional periods. This record-breaking overtime game was won by the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 end the Pittsburgh Penguins in the eastern Conference Semifinals in 2000.

But this kind of extended playoff overtime represents the extreme end of the hockey period scale. Most experienced league games will only play the conventional 20-minute, three-period format. Recreational and also youth leagues frequently play much shorter periods together well. Overtime counts together a period, in a lessened extra time form. The only time hockey goes past the overtime period’s fourth frame is in sudden-death playoff hockey, i m sorry is played till one team scores.