Understanding the Game: How Many Periods in Hockey?

Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey Periods

In ice hockey, a standard game consists of three periods, each lasting 20 minutes. However, the duration of each round may vary based on specific league or competition rules. In some cases, such as international tournaments or youth leagues, the duration may be shorter, from 15 to 18 minutes.

During ice hockey games, there are breaks between the first and second periods as well as between the second and third periods. These breaks give players the time they need to rest, regroup and receive guidance from their coaches, preparing them mentally for the following period. Fans also use these breaks to enjoy refreshments and discuss exciting moments of the game.

Field Hockey Periods

Field hockey follows a similar format, but instead of periods, the game is divided into four circles. Each quarter is usually 15 minutes, although this duration may vary based on the level of play and competition regulations. Like ice hockey, field hockey players take advantage of breaks between quarters to recover, hydrate and get tactical advice from their coaches.

Overtime and shootout

In some situations, particularly in ice hockey, a tied score at the end of regulation time may cause the game to go into overtime. In some leagues’ regular season games, teams enter a five-minute overtime period. In more important matches or playoffs, the overtime period may extend to 20 minutes.

If the game remains tied after the overtime period, a shootout occurs. Each team selects players to take penalty shots against the opposing team’s goalkeeper. The team with the most goals at the end of the shootout emerges as the winner.

Importance of periods in hockey

Dividing hockey games into periods or quarters adds to the excitement of the game. Spectators eagerly await each new segment, knowing that anything can happen in these intense moments. Periods also provide opportunities for coaches to analyze game progress and make strategic changes, further engaging them in the dynamic nature of the game.


Finally, the number of periods in hockey depends on whether it is ice hockey or field hockey. Ice hockey games typically consist of three periods, each lasting 20 minutes, with two intermissions. In contrast, field hockey is played in four quarters, each lasting 15 minutes, with a break between quarters. Understanding the importance of these periods enhances your experience of this wonderful and fascinating sport, whether you are a player or a fan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *