Have you ever before wondered just how long the mean hockey game really is? There are three periods, yet how long do they run? and also how lengthy are intermissions? Plus, how early on should i arrive prior to the start of the game? just how much time does this all include up to? fine crunch the numbers here on hockey game times.

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Expect hockey games to median a full time of roughly 2 hours and also 20 minute to 2 hours and also 45 minutes. Yet they can and also do go longer if there space injuries or lots of stoppages and fighting. Overtime and shootouts have the right to also add extra time come the game. In the playoffs, sudden fatality overtime can also add far-reaching extra time come the size of the game.

The official period of play is 20 minutes x 3 durations (1 hr), yet the play stop every time the referee blows the whistle. Over there is additionally an intermission after ~ the very first and 2nd periods (2 x 17 minutes).


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Play breakdown

Total Playtime: 60 minutesTotal Intermission: 17 + 17 minute = 34 minutesInjuries & stoppages (average): 15-25 minutes

Average full game time: 2hrs 20min +

Play without any stoppages would certainly be 1hr and also 34 minutes, yet with stoppages, the is at least two hours and also often approaches three hours.

For NHL game television broadcasts, networks schedule a 2 hour and 30-minute time slot for a video game to it is in played.

They will, however, generally not schedule a time-sensitive program instantly following the game, offered that games do typically run end time.

Stoppages in play take up as lot time together they do because of commercials the run during the game broadcasts. Yet there are additionally practical factors for stoppages and also the intermissions.

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During commercial breaks, NHL teams will send out their ice cream crew come shovel excess ice shavings and also snow turn off the ice. Act so allows for the puck to travel with much more speed on the ice cream surface.

The intermissions allow for the Zamboni to resurface the ice that has actually been worn under by the period of play. The 17-minute intermission gives the Zamboni driver time to complete the whole ice surface ar and permit for it come dry because that a few minutes.

That’s why there are two intermissions: one complies with the very first and 2nd periods the play, while the game ends after ~ the 3rd period. The Zamboni bring away the intermissions to resurface the ice cream for the begin of the second and 3rd periods.

Players are likewise afforded the chance to rest and also regroup in the intermissions. The players value the break from the physical demanding game, if the coaches are afforded time come strategize. And advise players on their tactics moving forward.

But because that fans, the game is even longer, as you need to arrive prior to the begin of the game. Through the way -- here’s exactly how cold an ice rink is.

For tournament games, girlfriend should likewise anticipate extra time to permit for medal ceremonies. In such cases, suppose to be in ~ the rink for upwards of 3 hours.

How beforehand do people typically come at hockey matches?

You’ll want to arrive well before puck drop to acquire your seat and be within the arena in time. Enable time for acquiring through the queues and grabbing part snacks.

You may also want to arrive early specifically to watch the groups take warmup. This can be a distinct experience, seeing experienced hockey players preparing for the game.


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If your game starts at 7 pm, aim to it is in lining up in ~ the right entrance gate at 6:15 pm. The door lineups do relocate quite quickly, yet the arena will most likely be busy when you acquire inside the concourse.

The exact time you come does count on the size of the arena, and also the number of fans that will be in attendance. If in doubt, call the arena or arrive slightly previously to avoid absent the start.

There are plenty that sights to check out at experienced sports arenas, so you have the right to never be too at an early stage – so long as you’re over there after the gates open.

P.S. The actual video game starts 15 minutes after the stated time. So in this case, puck drop is in reality at 7:15 pm.

Hardcore fans generally arrive much earlier while casual fans have the right to arrive 5-10 minutes prior to the start of the game. Season ticket holders may additionally arrive best at puck drop because they to visit the games on a continuous basis.

The anthem (sometimes 2 anthems if teams from different countries are playing) is sung at the time the game is scheduled to start. Puck autumn usually immediately follows the to sing of the anthem(s).

Pregame ceremonies and honors can also sometimes reason the event to operation longer before puck drop.

If you’re in a unique seat or a box, then you’ll more than likely want to arrive a little bit earlier too to reap some drinks. This seats space expensive, for this reason you’ll want to take advantage of the fancy experience and also savor every minute.

When carry out players arrive prior to a game?

Here space some approximate numbers for NHL level games. The team’s employee arrive early on to prepare the locker room and players arrive a bit later on to warmth up and also get in your gear.

Players will also likely have gone to the arena previously in the day because that the morning skate. However they’ll leave and also return before the video game in the evening.

Usual Gameday arrival Times

Home team staff: 2,5 to 3 hours before game time

Away Team: 2 hours

Home team Players: 1.5 hours prior to the game.

Off-ice officials: 1 to 1,5 hour before game time

On-ice officials: 45 minutes to 1 hour before the game.

NHL Playoff Hockey game Times

The NHL Playoffs include another element into the length of games due to the fact that they beat sudden fatality overtime if the video game is tied after 60 minutes.

Regular season gamings conclude your overtime after 5 minutes. If no team scores in the five minutes the extra time, the video game goes to a shootout – which generally ends within a few minutes.

But throughout the NHL Playoffs, overtime is extended to 20-minute durations that room played until one team scores. This potentially endless style of overtime is called “sudden death.”

Because the teams play till someone scores, the gamings can occasionally last for extra hrs on end.

In the NHL’s modern era, the longest overtime video game lasted second 92 minutes and also 1 second of extra playing time. That method the overtime goal was scored 12 minutes right into the fifth overtime period – making it, incredibly, the eighth 20-minute duration of the game.

But extremely lengthy overtime games are rather uncommon. Though, the is a continual occurrence come see gamings go into double and triple overtime a couple of times per playoff season.

All in all, expert hockey gamings will at the the very least run for approximately 2 hours and also 20 minutes. But when you variable in your arrival time, you’ll more than likely spend closer come 3 hours at the arena. Pregame arrival, three periods of play, stoppages, two intermissions, and also the opportunity of overtime will an outcome in a funny night. Just be mindful that the game runs quite a little bit longer than the 60 minute of running clock action.

Recreational Games

Lower league games from beer league to local area leagues have the very same amount of ice time but since the rinks room smaller and the ceremonial aspects much shorter -- you have the right to comfortably come closer to puck drop. This method as a fan you can arrive later and leave earlier -- since there space fewer queues.

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Phew and also that’s the -- ns hope I’ve managed to prize every conceivable question you might have about how lengthy a usual games is.