How Many Periods in Hockey Understand Game Terms

How Many Periods in Hockey (2)

The majority of the sports are played in quarters or halves. However, in hockey, the play is played in periods.

The use of periods is more self-explanatory than a quarter or halves. How many  periods in hockey?

Are the periods all equal in time? The periods of the game of hockey will be discussed in this article, as how overtime affects a game’s standard rules.

It is not an abstract notion. In college, I went to my first hockey game, and when the second period ended, I stood up thinking that it was the end of the game but was then told by a person sitting next to me that this makes half time and the 20 minutes from now will be full time.
Why is there a third period? And what makes hockey the rule of its own?

How many periods are there in hockey?

A standard hockey game is played in three periods, each period is for 20 minutes. An overtime period is then played in the event of a draw at the end of the third period. The team that scores the most points by the close of three periods is declared a winner.

Why does hockey have three periods?

Why does hockey have three periods?





Hockey is played in three periods mainly to ensure that the quality of ice remains up to standard for better play. As the hockey players are on ice, the longer they skate, the worse the ice quality becomes.

Before 1910, these games were played in two halves of thirty minutes each. On the other hand, by the end of every half, the ice was so rutted and snow-covered that it hurt the game’s speed. To resolve this, the game was altered to three periods of twenty minutes each, thus allowing them to clean the ice one more time. This also allowed the players to have more resting time.

The three-part structure has been continued as it suits the sport. The only period when a team has a disadvantage is the second round, where they must undergo a long change. However, because the two rinks are identical on both ends, this disadvantage is shared by both teams.

Besides, a three-period game offers two intermissions instead of two halves or four quarters, which may lead to more concession sales.

How long is the break between periods?

In the National Hockey League (NHL), intermission between periods takes 15 to 17 minutes. The actual length depends upon whether the game is to be broadcast.

Intervals in the televised games take 17 minutes of pause to allow the commercials and advertisements. For regular seasons, the intermission time is 15 minutes and 30 seconds. However, the timeline may vary in other leagues around the globe.

What are overtime rules in Hockey?

The overtime rules are not uniform in the National Hockey League; they differ during the regular and the post-season periods.

Regular Season Overtime Rules:
1. Teams also square off to play five minutes of 3-on-3 hockey.
2. In overtime, the game is decided like in sudden death, since the first team that scores wins.
3. If no one scores after 5 minutes, they head into a shootout.
4. Every team has to choose three players for shooters, and the selection should be done for the three separate shootout rounds. One shot is allowed per team per round.
5. The team that scores the highest goals during the three rounds is declared the winner of the game.
6. If both teams succeed in scoring the same number of goals in the three rounds, it continues by the round to the team who scores a goal but the other does not.

Overtime Rules:
1. In the event of a regulation tie, teams will play 20 minutes of additional overtime play of regulation 5-on-5 hockey.
2. Everything remains sudden-death style since only the first team to score the winning game.
3. As many have been, no one scores in the first OT; the game proceeds to a second OT, to a third, and so on, until a side wins it with a goal.

These rules were formulated to ensure the games remained competitive, and they most definitely increased the excitement in the sport.

How many Periods Are in College Hockey?

In collegiate hockey, there are three leagues. At the beginning of the game, the first period is played out: faceoffs and a puck drop. The second period is the one in which points are scored more often than not. For the last two periods, the regulations are usually set aside.

What is the difference between college hockey and NHL?

There are several key differences between college hockey and the National Hockey League (NHL):

1. Level of Competition:

The NHL has the highest standards of ice hockey on the planet and comprises the best players. College hockey is a level below the NHL regarding talent and skill, but it is one of the competitive leagues in this sport.

2. Number of Teams and Divisions:

College hockey, conversely, is condensed to 3 NCAA-sanctioned divisions with approximately 176 national hockey programs for men and 123 federal hockey programs for women. Contrastingly, the NHL is composed of 32 teams that are split into two conferences.

3. Rules:
NCAA Hockey differs in specific rules from the NHL. For instance, in the NHL, a goal on a delayed penalty stands, and the penalty is waived off, while in the NCAA, the goal counts, but the penalty is still served (Pesky). In addition, in college hockey, a full face shield should be used, while in the NHL, visors are worn by season players.

4. Overtime:
In the NHL, regular season overtime is a 3-on-3 set up for five minutes and then a shootout if needed. For the playoffs, it is a 5on five sudden death. In NCAA, overtime is 5-on-5, with teams taking the opposite areas.

5. Age of Players:
The average age of players in college hockey is much lower since they are students, and the NHL is a little more varied as players range from teenagers to those in their late thirties or even early forties.

6. Season Length:
The NHL season is more like the regular season, with each team having to play 82 games, while most college hockey teams will play approximately 35-40 games in the whole season.

7. Scholarships and Education:
College hockey players are given scholarships to play hockey as they enroll to pursue a degree. The NHL is opposed to this.

These differences play a role in the identity or uniqueness and charm of college hockey as well as NHL.

FAQS About How Many Periods in Hockey

Q1: How many periods are there in a standard hockey game?
A1: In most professional and amateur hockey leagues, a typical game is divided into three periods.

Q2: How long is each period in hockey?
A2: Each period in hockey typically lasts 20 minutes, making a total playing time of 60 minutes for a complete game.

Q3: Are there any breaks between the periods?
A3: Yes, there are typically breaks between the periods. During these breaks, players can rest, and teams may discuss strategies. The breaks usually last around 15 minutes between the first and second periods and the second and third periods.

Q4: Are there any exceptions to the three-period rule in hockey?
A4: The number of periods may be adjusted in some game variations, such as youth or recreational leagues. However, in most professional leagues, three periods are the standard.

Q5: What happens if a game is tied at the end of the third period?
A5: If a game is tied at the end of the regulation three periods, there are usually overtime periods or a shootout, depending on the league rules, to determine the winner.

Q6: How long is overtime in hockey?
A6: Overtime periods in hockey are typically 5 minutes each. If no team scores during the overtime, a shootout may follow to determine the winner.

Q7: Are there any additional breaks during the game?
A7: Besides the breaks between periods, there are stoppages in play for penalties, icing, and other infractions. These stoppages allow for additional rest and strategy discussions.

Q8: How is the intermission time utilized?
A8: During intermissions, players may receive medical attention, and coaches often use the time to discuss tactics, make adjustments, and motivate the team.

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