How Long Do Hockey Games Last?

Whether it’s because of tight schedules, or organizing a group of people, or attending games with kids, a lot of people like to know how long a sporting event is going to last. NHL games do have a typical running time, meaning how long they take in real-time, much like other professional sports leagues. Of course, there is an average ice hockey game and then there are those that give fans a little more fun, including how long attendees will be at the arena. There are a few aspects that go into how an ice hockey game will actually last, and this can differ from college hockey games and recreational games fans may have watched. Read on to find out more about where the time goes.


How long is an NHL hockey game?

NHL teams play games that are divided into three periods, each lasting 20 minutes. These three periods are considered regulation time or actual game time, and there are intermissions between the first and second periods and the second and third periods. Ice hockey games are fast-moving, and the clock runs whenever the puck is in play. During the intermissions of an NHL game, the ice gets cleaned and fun promotions often go on, which sometimes include a junior league kid’s hockey game. While the teams are in their locker room, fans can head to the concession stands, hit the restrooms, and stretch their legs so they don’t miss any of the 60 minutes of action once play resumes.

How long is an average hockey game?

From the initial puck drop to the final horn, an average NHL game lasts approximately two and a half hours. This includes 60 minutes of regulation time, commercial breaks, intermissions during which they clean the ice surface, and other breaks in the action. Like in other organized sports, there are quick breaks when penalties are called, a team scores or one team calls a time out. An average game does not include an overtime period or extended stoppage time for injuries or other unforeseen situations. Anything out of the ordinary where the clock stops or if the game is tied at the end of regulation will make the overall running time of a game a bit longer.

How many periods in hockey?

There are three periods of 20 minutes resulting in 60 minutes of game time for a regular game. Adding in all of the stoppage time adds up to 2.5 hours in total duration. If a game ends in a tie after three periods, an overtime period is played. Regular-season matchups and contests during the NHL playoffs that are tied after regulation are handled in different ways. During the regular season, one five-minute sudden-death overtime is played with three skaters instead of five on the ice. For regular-season games, if neither team scores, penalty shots, referred to as a shootout, are taken. During the playoffs, including the Stanley Cup Championship, teams play in overtime at full strength (five skaters). Additionally, the overtime periods are the full 20 minutes, and the first team to score wins. If no team scores during the first overtime period, an intermission takes place and another period is played. This goes on until a goal is scored.

What is the average length of an NHL game?

When everything is added up, 60 minutes of playing time, TV timeouts for TV commercials, stoppage time, intermissions (NHL intermissions last approximately 15 minutes) during which the Zamboni is brought out to clean the ice surface, the total time is about 2.5 hours.

What is the longest hockey game in history?

In 1936 the Detroit Maroons played the Montreal Maroons (team mascots were less creative back then) in a post-season game that lasted 176 minutes and 30 seconds.

Quick Hockey Time Facts

How long do hockey games last?

NHL games last about 2.5 hours.

How long does a hockey game last?

The playing time of a typical game without overtime is 60 minutes.

How long is a professional hockey game?

Different leagues may have game lengths that are different than the NHL, however, three periods of 20 minutes is a mostly standard timeframe.

How long do hockey games last NHL?

A game typically lasts between two and three hours, longer during the playoffs where there may be more ceremonies, or during games that involve overtime.

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