How Long Does It Take A Hockey Game

How Long Does It Take A Hockey Game
Answer: A typical hockey game has a duration of approximately two and a half to three hours.

Supporting facts:

1. Regulation playing time: A standard regulation NHL hockey game consists of three periods, each lasting 20 minutes for a total of 60 minutes of playing time.

2. Stoppage time: Although each period is scheduled for 20 minutes, the actual playing time can be longer due to stoppages, such as penalties, timeouts, and player injuries. These stoppages can extend the duration of a game significantly.

3. Overtime: If the game ends in a tie at the end of regulation time, an additional five-minute period called overtime is played. If no team scores during this period, a shootout may occur until a winner is determined. Including overtime and a shootout if necessary, an NHL game can last up to approximately two and a half hours.

4. Intermissions: Between each period, there is a scheduled intermission of typically 15 minutes. These breaks allow players to rest, and the ice surface to be repaired or resurfaced, contributing to a longer game duration.

5. Television timeouts: Additionally, television networks broadcasting the game usually implement commercial breaks, which can further extend the overall duration of the game.


Q1: Do hockey games always end within the regulation 60 minutes?
A1: No, if the score is tied at the end of regulation time, the game will proceed to overtime and potentially a shootout, which can extend the duration.

Q2: Can an intermission be longer than the scheduled 15 minutes?
A2: It is rare, but occasionally, intermissions can be slightly extended if necessary, for example, to fix an equipment issue or for medical reasons.

Q3: How long is the average intermission?
A3: Intermissions typically last about 15 minutes, but this can vary depending on the league and specific game circumstances.

Q4: What happens during the intermissions in a hockey game?
A4: Intermissions allow players to rest, strategize with coaches, and receive medical treatment if needed. The ice surface is also repaired or resurfaced during this time.

Q5: Can a hockey game last longer than three hours?
A5: While it is possible, it is relatively rare for a game to exceed three hours. Such cases usually involve multiple overtime periods or lengthy stoppages due to exceptional circumstances.

Q6: Can stoppage time significantly impact the game duration?
A6: Yes, penalties, injuries, video reviews, and other incidents can lead to additional stoppage time, causing the game to last longer than the scheduled playing time.

Q7: Are commercial breaks during television timeouts counted within the game time?
A7: No, the clock stops during television timeouts, and the actual playing time of the game is paused until the break ends.

BOTTOM LINE: On average, a hockey game takes approximately two and a half to three hours. However, factors such as stoppage time, overtime, intermissions, and television timeouts can influence the actual duration of a game.