How Long is a Hockey Game: AHL, KHL, OHL, WHL and Others

How Long is a Hockey Game

How long does an ice hockey game last?

So how long is a hockey game? The basic length of an NHL hockey game is 60 minutes or 3 durations of 20 mins. If the ball game is tied after sixty minutes, the game will reach 5-minute overtime adhered to by a shootout. Throughout the playoffs, teams will certainly play sudden-death overtime to settle a connection which is also comprised of 20-minute periods.

Did NHL hockey games constantly last 60 minutes?

NHL games have always lasted 60 minutes, but there are notable differences compared to today’s criteria. Prior to the 1910-11 season, games would certainly be played with 2 x 30 minute periods without stop-time (resource).

The NHL just presented stop-time as of the 1927-28 period, along with 10- minute intermissions. By the 1966-67 period, the intermission lengths were enhanced by an additional 5 minutes to fifteen minutes complete. Today, the intermissions are standardized at 17 mins long.

How long are the intermissions between periods?

An NHL intermission is 17 minutes long. This happens twice during a regular game. Once between the first and also 2nd duration and also afterward throughout the 2nd and also 3rd period.

This time around is taken for the ice to be cleaned and fixed along with any in-house amusement.

In the playoffs, the overtime periods are 20 mins, unlike the regular season where the overtime period is just 5 minutes. For that reason, there is a complete intermission in between the 3rd duration and also the 1st overtime duration in the playoffs. Nonetheless, this intermission is just 15 mins long.

The added 2 mins during the regular intermissions are typically developed to help with internal entertainment between durations.

How long do hockey games last in real-time?

From the minute of puck decline up until the end of the game, you are considering roughly 2.5 hrs of game time. Some games might last longer (or much shorter) relying on numerous scenarios pointed out below.

Keep in mind that in between both the very first and second period, there is an intermission of 17 mins from play for country-wide telecasted games. Or else, play can be returned to after a minimum of 15 minutes and 30 secs (i.e. overtime intermissions) based on NHL policies (source).

How Long is a Hockey Game

Additionally, the game clock will certainly stop in between plays arising from goals, fine telephone calls, topping, puck-out-of-play, busted glass, and also more. The more stops between plays, the longer the game will certainly last.

Ultimately, if extra time is called for (i.e. overtime or shootout), the possibility of the game lasting past 2.5 hrs is far greater.

How long do hockey games last for other professional leagues?

When it involves international, nationwide, and also junior leagues, they all follow the exact same conventional 60 minutes as the NHL (3 x 20-minute durations). See the listing of one of the most popular leagues listed below that follow suit:

League Name
Game Length*


American Hockey League


60 minutes

15-18 minutes


Kontinental Hockey League


60 minutes

17 minutes


National League


60 minutes

15 minutes


East Coast Hockey League


60 minutes

18 minutes


Swedish Hockey League


60 minutes

18 minutes


Quebec Major Junior Hockey League


60 minutes

18 minutes


Ontario Hockey League


60 minutes

15 minutes (1st Int)

18 minutes (2nd Int)


Western Hockey League


60 minutes

18 minutes

How long do recreational ice hockey games last?

Recreational hockey organizations will generally book time blocks of as much as 1 hr as well as 30 minutes per game. Every organization picks how much time to allocate for every duration.

Needs to the organization selected to have fun with running time, the periods will certainly last around 20 minutes each. To stop teams from running the clock through hold-up techniques, the league will usually enforce a stop-time within the last 1-2 mins of each duration.

If offered the opportunity, the opposing teams will certainly run the clock between whistles to protect a lead or exterminate a fine – for this reason, the enforced stop time at the conclusion of each durations (specifically the third period).

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Hockey Game

For leagues that utilize complete game stop-time, the durations will certainly run 3 durations of about 15-minutes each (I’ve personally seen an intramural organization run 12-minute stop-time durations).

Make note that entertainment games begin with a 5-10 minute gamer warm-up while the last ten mins are reserved for clean-up with the Zamboni.

You’ll additionally typically see the umpires and scorekeepers readjust the size of the third duration clock based on how many real minutes stay in the time block. The concept is to enable the game clock to go to 0:00 on the scoreboard instead of stopping the game with leftover time.

While professional organizations no longer end in tie games, this rule does not make an application for leisure leagues. This is because amateur organizations can not go beyond the time obstructs scheduled for each and every one of their games.

There have been times where organizations flirted with the shootout, because of the appeal of its application in the 2005-06 NHL policies, but this was temporary. Once more, teams would certainly favor tie games and also longer playtime to settling for tiebreakers by means of a shootout.

Stopping the Clock in an NHL Game

To keep an eye on the time, sectors have the main clock and also it is readied to count down from 20 minutes completely to 0. When the officials declare the puck dead, the clock quits.

There are just a couple of instances that stop the clock. They consist of:

  • When a fine is offered
  • When a gamer is harmed
  • When the puck leaves the rink
  • When a timeout is called
  • When the goalkeeper does not return the puck to the ice

After these stoppages, players have a challenge. Then, the clock starts back up once again.

How long between regulation and overtime?

When a game finishes in a tie and also goes to overtime in the normal season there is no intermission. The play resumes after a two min stoppage in time and also 3-on-3 overtime will certainly then start.

Length of a game in the NHL Playoffs

In the playoffs, there is no shootout to decide a game if it is still tied at the end of an overtime duration. The game simply continues to have 20 minutes durations up until somebody ultimately ratings.

How Long is a Hockey Game

Most NHL overtime games finish in policy, nevertheless, an overtime playoff game can easily relocate right into the 4 to 5 hr mark in real-time if there are extra periods included.

How long is a hockey game: college hockey games

College games or major younger hockey games in Canada are roughly the same lengths as an NHL game at 2.5 hours. They often tend to be on the shorter end because there is not as much manufacturing entering into the game from a television or in-house viewpoint as the expert organizations.

What happens when the game is televised?

Commercial breaks have rules, too.

The NHL Business Organizer makes sure that promotions do not break these regulations. Commercials have suited the games, however, when there are objectives or topping phone calls, business breaks are not allowed.

Other League Time Lengths

The moment in various other hockey leagues vary.

As an example, UNITED STATES Hockey clarifies that the optimum size of the game is 60 mins with three periods that last 20 minutes. They also have intermissions that last 15 minutes. However, if a USA Hockey game requires to be much shorter, it can be. They just can not surpass 60 mins.


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