How Long Is a Hockey Game? What is the Regulation Time of a Typical Match?

how long is a hockey game

Hockey is one of the oldest sports that has risen to fame in the early 60s and 70s. Since then, it has been popular all around the planet and has millions of viewers. Currently, different sports have overcome the charm and beauty of this prestigious sport. Still, many people are biased toward it and looking to enjoy its prime again. One of the newcomers’ most asked questions is how long a hockey game lasts. The answer is more complex, as it depends upon several factors. In the under-section, we have provided the complete details.

How Long is a Hockey Game?

A hockey match’s typical time is 60 minutes to determine the winner based on the number of goals scored. But, several factors determine how long is a hockey game. To help you grab all the information, we have provided complete details in the following paragraphs.

1 – Regulation Time

The standard time of a hockey match comprises three periods, each with a duration of 20 minutes. However, the actual time may change when we count the pauses and break during the play. Talking about the regulation time, it is generally the game time that only indicates the duration at which the clock continuously runs. It is the main time the players run and try to score goals to direct their teams to victory.

2 – Stoppages and Breaks

Certain stops, pauses, and breaks also play a crucial role in deciding how long is a hockey game. Some of them are described in the under-section.

A. Whistle Stops

During the gameplay, it’s the referee’s duty to maintain fair gameplay and also take care of the spirit of the sport. Thus, they have to whistle multiple times to stop the match of different concerns. If a player gets injured, the whistle ring stops the play for icing and other Medicare purposes. Similarly, when the referees have to announce penalties, they also stop the game. Although these breaks are critical to ensure rule adherence, they contribute to how long is a hockey game.

B. TV Timeouts

In international matches as well as in professional leagues, broadcasters and television networks ask permission from the organizers to run advertisement campaigns during the gameplay. Consequently, they ask for some extra minutes to add to the match in which they can air the ads to earn significant revenue. Sometimes, the organizers have fixed commissions for this procedure, serving as backdoor money generation.

C. Intermissions

Intermissions are another time interval that serves to determine how long is a hockey game. Generally, they are the break intervals between two periods. During this time, the players can do several activities, like rest, eat food, receive the coach’s advice, or create a new game plan. The fans can also rest to refresh themselves for the next half. If the break persists longer, the game time may get expanded.

3 – Overtime and Shootouts

Sometimes, the allocated game time could not produce results in either team’s favor. In such situations, additional gameplay time is available to decide the winner. These are described below.

A. Overtime

Overtime is the duration added to the total game time if both teams score equally. The length of this period varies in every match and generally depends upon the organizers It could be anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes. If the teams still don’t get dominance over the others, they proceed to the shootouts, deciding how long is a hockey game.

B. Shootouts

The shootout is the interval used to determine the winner by hitting penalty shots. Both teams pick their specialist players to score against the opponents’ goalkeeper. The team that hits the most balls to the net is declared the champion.

Factors Altering the Hockey Gameplay Length

Numerous factors play their role in deciding how long is the hockey game. Among them, the most dominating one is league match vs playoffs. Further, it also depends on whether the organizers allow overtime to decide the winner. Moreover, the time taken for icing or penalizing the player can also change the hockey gameplay length. Hence, the duration may vary from league to league or even match to match within the same tournament.

Final Verdicts

All these are the details about how long is the hockey game. In conclusion, the hockey game comprises three regulation times, each with 20 minutes duration. Thus, a typical hockey game should last at most 60 minutes. Nevertheless, certain unwanted as well as crucial stops alter the gameplay duration. If a player performs against the code of conduct, he may get a penalty that costs time.

Similarly, injuries at high-profile matches can also extend the play duration. Besides, the organizers may allocate extra time for shootouts to get the winners. Hence, the total time may vary from game to game. That’s all about how long is a hockey game. Stay tuned for more information.

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