How Long Is A Typical Hockey Game?

How Long Is A Typical Hockey Game?

Hockey is a popular sport that is played all over the world. The game is fast-paced and exciting. One of the FAQs about hockey is, "How long is the game?"

Jun 1, 2022 by FloHockey Staff
How Long Is A Typical Hockey Game?

Hockey is a popular sport that is played all over the world. The game is fast-paced and exciting, and it can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

One of the most frequently asked questions about hockey is, "How long are hockey games?"

The answer to this question depends on the level of play. Professional hockey games typically are 60 minutes long, while amateur games may be shorter.

A Typical Professional Hockey Game Length

The average NHL hockey game length is about 60 minutes. There are three 20-minute periods in a game with intermissions after the first and second periods. Each intermission lasts 18 minutes during NHL games, but may be shorter in other leagues.

At the NHL level, there are at least three media timeouts per period to allow for commercial breaks as well.

With all of those breaks and intermissions included, most hockey games will take at least two and a half hours to complete with 60 minutes of actual game play.

How Long Is Overtime In Hockey?

If the game is tied at the end of regulation, there will be an overtime period to determine the winner. The length of overtime varies depending on the level of play and the time of the season. 

In the NHL, during the regular season, games that are tied at the end of regulation will go to a five-minute sudden death overtime period. If neither team scores during that period, the game will be decided in a shootout that will last until a winner is determined.

During the playoffs, NHL overtime periods are scheduled for 20 minutes and will continue until a goal is scored and the winner is decided via sudden-death. 

Other Reasons A Hockey Game May Take Longer

Aside from the three 20-minute periods and overtime, there are other reasons a hockey game can take longer than other sports. 

For example, each team is allowed one 60-second timeout per game. There also are breaks for TV commercials and between periods when the ice is cleaned.

Injuries and penalties also can add time to the clock. If a player is injured and has to be helped off the ice, that's additional time tacked on. The same goes for penalties. Each penalty results in a two- or five-minute power play, depending on the severity of the infraction.