The Duration of a Typical Hockey Game is determined through many factors, like overtime, injuries, and with every whistle, the game stops for a few seconds. The 60 minutes a long game with 2 breaks of 17 minutes included with all other factors can make the game last to an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes. We’ll discuss the factors and the timings of Ice Hockey at different levels. 

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How long do hockey games last?

The average time is 2 hours and 23 minutes, but the duration changes according to different leagues. The Professional Hockey Game (NHL) lasts the longest and the Kid’s Hockey game has the shortest duration. But how long is a hockey game will also depend on the leagues such as recreational hockey which lasts 60 minutes.

Professional Hockey Game (NHL)

How long does a professional ice hockey game last and how long are NHL intermissions?

Like other professional leagues of hockey like the European Leagues, AHL, the NHL has 60 minutes of playing time. 

The whole game is divided into three periods of 20 minutes. There is a 17-minute intermission after the 1st and 2nd periods. If the game is tied, then there is a 5 minute of additional overtime. If the game remains tied even in overtime, then a shootout takes place. 

Other factors like stoppage time, TV commercials, the duration goes beyond 2 hours. So, on average a professional hockey game lasts around 2.5 to 3 hours

College Hockey Game

How long is a college hockey game?

A College Hockey Game lasts the same as the NHL games but the only difference it has is TV commercials. The timings of intermissions, overtime, and stoppage are the same as the NHL. So, a College hockey game lasts around 2.5 hours. 

Recreation or Kid’s Hockey Game

A recreation or Kid’s Hockey has a runtime of 60 minutes which means that the clock doesn’t stop when the whistle is blown. The clock stops for a few minutes after the end of each period for stoppage time and warm-up. The average Recreation Game lasts around 1 hour 15 minutes. 

How many periods in a hockey game?

How many periods in a hockey game and how long are hockey periods. It’s simple. There are a total of 3 periods in hockey, each period of 20 minutes making a total of 60 minutes of runtime. 

What determines the length of a hockey game?


Intermissions are taken between the first and second periods in NHL and College leagues. Each intermission is of 17 minutes.


Additional overtime of 5 minutes is played when the game is tied.


A Shootout takes place when the game remains tied in the overtime. A three-player shootout takes place and continues to take place until one team wins. 

Commercial Breaks

One commercial lasts not more than 45 seconds and there are two commercials in each period3


In Playoffs, the overtime rule is different. A 20 minute overtime is played till a goal is scored. If no goal is scored, then a 15-minute intermission is taken and then again a 20 minute overtime is played. 


Although it’s officially for 60 minutes, the game never ends in such a short time. The playtime has remained the same but the start time till the end time has increased significantly over the years.



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