How Long is a Hockey Game?
If you’ve ever wondered how long is a hockey game, you’re not alone. The game is not very long, but overtime periods are common and can make it last much longer than other sports. The NHL’s playoffs, for example, can last as long as five hours and ten minutes. These games can go to multiple overtime periods, with each one lasting about 20 minutes. This is because there’s always so much action on the ice.
A typical NHL game lasts around two and a half hours. That doesn’t include the intermissions and the formalities. The NHL works hard to keep games as short as possible, but a 90-minute game isn’t a long time to sit in the stands. In the 2003-2004 season, an average NHL game was two hours and 19 minutes long. During the 1986-1987 season, it was nearly three hours and 36 minutes.
A hockey game may last up to three hours if there are fights, injuries, or stoppages. It can also take more time if the game is televised. A game in the AHL may last an hour and a half without penalties, but can extend to over two hours with break time and extra play. If you watch an NHL game on television, you may have to endure a couple of breaks for TV commercials.
In the NHL, there are official clocks in every arena. Each period lasts twenty minutes. Depending on the level, the period ends when someone scores. If there’s no winner in the first overtime period, the game goes into a shootout. The shootout lasts five minutes in real time. In the NHL, games that end without a goal go into a three-player shootout, which is the final round of the game.