How Long Is Hockey Match

How Long Is a Hockey Match?
Answer: A typical hockey match can last for approximately 2 to 2.5 hours, including both regulation time and potential overtime.

Supporting Facts:

1. Regulation Time: In professional hockey leagues like the NHL (National Hockey League), regulation time consists of three periods, each lasting 20 minutes. Therefore, the total regulation play time is 60 minutes.

2. Intermissions: Between each period, there is typically a 15-minute intermission for players to rest, receive instructions from coaches, and make necessary adjustments. These intermissions add up to a total of 45 minutes.

3. Potential Overtime: If a hockey match ends in a tie during regulation time, there can be overtime to determine a winner. Overtime periods usually last for 5 minutes each. However, if no team scores during the first overtime period, additional overtime periods are played until a team scores, resulting in a sudden-death victory. Therefore, overtime can add varying lengths of time to the overall match duration.

4. Penalty Time: Throughout the game, players may receive penalties that result in time spent in the penalty box. Depending on the severity of the infraction, penalty time can range from just a couple of minutes to longer durations. Although this does not directly impact the overall match length, it can modify the playing time for individual players.

5. Game Stoppages: Hockey matches may experience stoppages due to various reasons, including player injuries, play reviews, or equipment malfunctions. These stoppages, while infrequent, can add a few extra minutes to the total match duration.


1. Can a hockey match end in a tie?
– No, in professional leagues, if there is a tie at the end of regulation time, a team must win in overtime or through a shootout.

2. How long is each period in a hockey match?
– Each period in a hockey match typically lasts for 20 minutes.

3. Why do intermissions in hockey take 15 minutes?
– Intermissions allow players to rest and recover, receive coaching instructions, and make changes to strategies. Fifteen minutes provides sufficient time for these activities to take place.

4. How does the overtime process work in hockey?
– Overtime in hockey consists of additional equal-length periods until a team scores and wins the game. If no team scores within the first overtime period, subsequent overtime periods continue in sudden-death format until a victor emerges.

5. Can penalty time impact the duration of a hockey match?
– Penalty time does not directly affect the length of the match as it is separate from the game clock. However, it can modify the playing time for individual players and potentially influence the dynamics of the game.

6. Do hockey matches always have stoppages?
– Hockey matches generally have minimal stoppages, but occasional interruptions may occur due to player injuries, play reviews, or equipment malfunctions.

7. How long can a hockey match last if multiple overtimes are required?
– If a hockey match requires multiple overtimes until a team scores, the overall length can vary. The longest NHL game on record lasted a little over 6 full periods, totaling 150 minutes of overtime play.

BOTTOM LINE: A hockey match typically lasts around 2 to 2.5 hours when considering regulation time, intermissions, potential overtime, penalty time, and occasional stoppages.