How long should you plan to spend there to attend a hockey game? Like any sport, it takes longer than the stated amount of minutes to complete.
How long does a hockey game last? A regulation ice hockey game lasts for a total of 60 minutes. However, when you factor in all of the breaks, the intermission, and any potential overtime, this playing time comes out to be 2.5 to 3 hours in real-time.
Let’s examine the length of an actual hockey game and the various components that comprise it, including warm-ups, intermission, timeouts, and overtime.
Since not all hockey is played in the NHL, we’ll also examine the actual game action of Olympic, collegiate, and recreational hockey.
How Long is an NHL Hockey Game in Real-Time?
A regulation NHL game lasts 60 minutes, and this rule also holds true for games in other professional leagues like the AHL, ECHL, and European leagues.
There are three 20-minute sections within the game. The teams will play a further five minutes of overtime if the score is tied at the end of regulation, and a shootout will follow if it is still tied.
This entire game takes 2.5 to 3 hours to complete in real-time rather than simply 60 minutes. The length of the game can be affected by a number of factors, including mandatory TV timeouts (when the advertisements are broadcast; there are two every period) and play interruptions caused by rule violations.
Additionally, if a game is tied after regulation, extra time—in the form of overtime and the shootout—will sometimes be added. All of this results in a game that lasts 2.5 to 3 hours after it begins. Here is a graph illustrating the on-ice action of a professional hockey match with a start time of 7 p.m.
Time and Event
7:00 pm – National Anthem
7:05 – Puck Drop for Start of First Period
7:45 – First Intermission
8:00 – Puck Drop for Start of Second Period
8:40 – Second Intermission
8:55 – Puck Drop for Start of Third Period
9:35 – End of Game
Arrive 30 minutes early for a live game to watch the players warm up. Even if you don’t have a ticket for the event, the ushers in the arena will let you enter and stand behind the glass.
This article discusses how fantastic (and enjoyable) the NHL warmup is. Let’s examine some of these elements of the game that extend hockey’s actual playing time.
How Long are the Intermissions Between Periods?
NHL periods of time are 17 minutes long. This occurs twice in a typical game. Between the first and second periods as well as between the second and third periods.
The Zamboni (seen above) and the in-house maintenance team use this time to clean and restore the ice. During the break, LA King’s supporters participated in a sumo wrestling match.
The length of the interval also allows for in-game entertainment like fan competitions on the rink or short-duration games between neighborhood young hockey teams.
Contrary to the regular season, where the extra period is only five minutes long, the overtime periods in the playoffs are twenty minutes long. As a result, in the playoffs, there is a complete break between the third period and the first overtime period. However, this break only lasts for 15 minutes.
Typically, the extra two minutes during the regularly scheduled intermissions are used to provide in-house entertainment in between periods.
How Long Between Regulation and Overtime?
There isn’t a halftime break when a regular-season game goes into overtime and is tied. After a two-minute break in the action, the play will resume, and a 5-minute 3-on-3 overtime period will start. If a goal is scored within those five minutes, the match is declared over.
There is a shootout if no goals have been scored at the end of the 5-minute overtime session. In real-time, this normally takes 5 minutes.
Length of a Game in the NHL Playoffs
The length of a playoff game that is decided in regulation is comparable to that of a regular season game.
However, a game cannot finish in a shootout to determine the winner during the playoffs. Up until a goal is scored, the game is played in 20-minute halves (with complete, 15-minute intermissions).
Most NHL overtime matches end inside the opening 20 minutes. However, if there are numerous overtime sessions, a playoff game can quickly exceed the 4- to 5-hour mark in real-time.
How Long are College Hockey Games?
Major junior hockey games or college games in Canada last about 2.5 hours, which is about the same as an NHL game. Because there is less production going into the game from a television or in-house standpoint than there is in the professional leagues, they tend to be on the shorter end.
How Long is a Recreational or Kid’s Hockey Game?
The 60 minutes of hockey are played throughout runtime at the recreational level, which applies to both adult leagues and children playing the game.
Runtime refers to the fact that they do not pause the clock when a whistle blows. The clock keeps going till the end of the period when it stops. This indicates that the actual playing time of the game is 60 minutes, plus a few extra minutes for warmups and quick breaks in between the quarters.
The duration of a leisure game, including warmup and team departure time, is typically one hour and fifteen minutes.
Let me tell you, whenever there is a pause on the ice, every player is working to restart the game as soon as possible. Nobody wants to lose valuable time when they are waiting for the puck to drop and not playing.
In order to prevent a team in the lead from wasting time by frequently causing stoppages, some leagues include stoppage time in the final few minutes of the game.
The games in higher-level minor hockey leagues do include stoppage time, and there will be a break between the second and third periods so that the ice may be cleaned.
Playing these games normally takes two hours. These contests would feature highly talented 15 to 18-year-old athletes who might be selected for a college or junior hockey league.