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How Many Periods in Hockey?
How Many Periods Are in a Hockey Game?
For people who are just beginning to learn about the sport of hockey, this issue regarding “periods” can be a difficult one.
Basketball and football are played within “quarters,” which references four game components. Soccer is played in “halves,” dividing the game into two sections.
However, hockey is played over intervals. Every hockey match always includes three periods. They can differ in length, depending on the level at which hockey is played. Three periods, all with the same length of duration, are the norm regardless of length.
Every person involved in the game, from players, spectators, and even commentators, refers to the three periods by the terms “first period,” “second period,” and “third period.” The rules and structure of a 20-minute, three-period game first came into play by the National Hockey Association (NHA) during the season 1910-11. Before 1910, the games were played with two 30-minute periods.
The NHA was later reorganized and, in 1917, launched its own National Hockey League (NHL) that we have as of today. In the past, the NHL has always adhered to the traditional three-period, 20-minute game model. The only limitation to the 3-period structure is a tie at the end of regulation. If that happens, the game will go into overtime.
Do you think hockey has ever had four quarters or two halves? Some other exceptions!
In the world of professional hockey or other hockey at the highest level, the answer to this question would be not (with one exception, which we come up with within a minute).
But, at the intermediate or recreational level, hockey is typically divided into two parts.
For instance, a match is usually played in the local ice rink, lasting approximately 1 hour. Instead of three periods, which wastes additional time due to an additional interruption and teams switching sides in between, the game will be played for two 30-minutes each. Each team will switch teams once, and the teams will play from both sides, as well as the game will comprise two periods.
One of the two halves that you can experience in level NHL at the level of an NHL all-star match. The NHL all-star game isn’t similar to a regular NHL game. They play 3-on-3 rather than 5-on-5. The game lasts 40 minutes instead of 60 minutes, and they play in two halves and don’t play three periods.
The whole thing is designed to create a relaxing environment for the players, where there could be many scoring shifts and lots of goals. In the end, it is clear that the NHL does this to create as much scoring as it can, but not to highlight the sport in the way it is played. 
Let’s return to the normal flow of a regular professional game played with three periods.
Is Overtime a Period in Hockey?
Overtime is counted as a hockey period. However, it’s not considered or described as the “fourth” period. it’s seen as more of an extension of time.
That is, nobody calls “overtime” the “fourth period.” It’s often referred to as “overtime.” Overtime plays can be counted towards the goalie and player statistics, just like they do during regular play. Overtime is a variation of regulation, and its results are reflected on the stat sheet.
If there isn’t a goal achieved in the standard one-hour overtime, most teams end the game by playing a shootout. The shootout is not counted as a time period in the game, and it happens without a clock. Like overtime, shootouts (e.g., goals or saves) don’t count towards the standard stats of goalies and shooters. The stats for shootouts are separately recorded. However, the shootout itself is the only way to determine the winner of the game.
How Do Playoff Overtime Periods Work?
When it comes to the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, overtime periods are the same duration as standard periods up to 20 minutes.
The playoff overtime times are “sudden death” over time, continuing until one team scores. This is called “sudden death” because the game ends when one team scores – not like the additional time of soccer, for instance, which could be scored multiple times in extra time.
The overtime games in the playoffs last for 20 minutes and include a shorter intermission if additional periods are needed after the first. The intermission generally lasts the length of time it takes the Zamboni to smooth the ice, instead of waiting for the entire 17 minutes for the regular intermission break.
Also, this is a reminder that overtime periods aren’t considered to be”second period” or “fourth period” (and so on, if the playoff game requires additional overtime time). The extra overtime periods are referred to as “double overtime” (and so on). The overtime times are abbreviated as 1OT, 3OT, 2OT, etc.
Therefore, even though every other hockey game limits players to a maximum duration of 65 minutes (60 minutes of regulation and the five-minute overtime), The overtime in playoff games can go well past the length of a normal three-period hockey game.
The longest overtime games during playoffs aren’t commonplace however the NHL playoffs typically feature at the very least a handful of games that are double or occasionally triple-overtime each year.
In the current era of the NHL, an overtime match that lasted the longest ended after 12 minutes of the fifth overtime session. The game was roughly seven and a half regular periods. The record-breaking overtime match was won by Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals of 2000.
This playoff overtime is the top end of the hockey time scale. The majority of professional league games only follow the standard 20-minute three-period format. Recreational and youth leagues usually have shorter durations as well. Overtime is considered a period with a reduced extra time format. The only instance when hockey extends over the fourth frame of overtime is in sudden-death hockey, where the game can be played till one side wins.
How long will it take to play a period in real-time?
In real-time, a match takes about 40 minutes to complete. This includes stoppages during play and TV timeouts, so the television network that broadcasts the game will be able to show advertisements (there are two commercials every period).
If each session lasts around 40 minutes, the game will be 120 minutes. It adds 30 minutes of total time for intermissions. This gives 150 minutes or 2.5 hours. That means that from the time the puck is dropped until the time the final horn goes off takes 2.5 hours.
Sometimes, the game can take a bit longer. However, it’s usually not any shorter than this.
How Long Are Hockey Intermissions?
As you can see, there is a reason that can be identified to break hockey games into three parts: to resurface the ice to keep it clean, which helps keep playing quickly.
If you’ve watched some professional league games or even collegiate games and You have observed that between every half hour, a huge truck (or in some cases, two trucks) takes off onto the ice and then drives about in circles 10 to 15 minutes.
The truck driver, known as a Zamboni, isn’t going for a ride before hundreds of other people. They are cleaning and spreading new water on the ice surface.
The fresh layer of water helps fill in the ruts, cracks, and other imperfections in the ice, and later it freezes to give the rink a new feel. When you begin each period, you’ll observe players moving faster, and their passes seem more precise.
But what exactly are the players doing in each intermission?
In intermissions, every team is allowed to return in their lockers to take a break and discuss the game plan for the future.
Hockey is a demanding sport, and two breaks during a game can help players remain fresh. Each intermission is also a chance for coaches to inform their players of what they’re seeing while on the playing field and guide them to make adjustments to enhance their game in the coming period.
Every intermission gives fans another chance to visit the bathroom or the snack bar. In contrast to football, which could include a halftime show or marching bands on the field at times, hockey games have no it is a rarity because the Zamboni is at work to resurface it.