How Many Quarters in a Hockey Game?

Hockey is a popular sport enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. It is a fast-paced game that requires players to skate, handle a stick, and shoot a puck into the opposing team’s goal. If you’re a newcomer to hockey, you might wonder how many quarters are in a game. In this article, we’ll explore the answer to this question and guide you through the ins and outs of the game.

History of Hockey

The scoreboard showing the time left in the second period of the hockey game
The scoreboard showing the time left in the second period of the hockey game

Hockey is said to have originated in Canada in the late 19th century. It was first played in the city of Montreal and quickly spread throughout the country. The first official game was played in 1875, and by the early 1900s, the sport had become popular in the United States and Europe.

Over time, the game has evolved to become more structured and regulated. The first set of rules was established in 1877 by the Montreal Winter Carnival, and the first professional league, the National Hockey League (NHL), was founded in 1917. Today, hockey is played at all levels, from amateur to professional, and is a popular sport in many countries worldwide.

Hockey has also become an Olympic sport, with both men’s and women’s teams competing for gold, silver, and bronze medals. The sport has come a long way since its origins, and it continues to evolve and grow in popularity.

Rules of Hockey

A referee getting ready to drop the puck and start the third period of the hockey game
A referee getting ready to drop the puck and start the third period of the hockey game

Hockey has a set of rules and regulations that players must follow to ensure fair play and safety on the ice. The rules cover everything from equipment requirements to penalties for fouls. The basic rules of hockey are as follows:

  • Each team has six players on the ice, including a goalie.
  • The game starts with a face-off at center ice.
  • The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team.
  • Players must use their sticks to pass the puck and shoot it into the opposing team’s goal.
  • Players are not allowed to use their hands or feet to move the puck.
  • Penalties are given for actions such as tripping, slashing, and checking from behind.

In addition to these basic rules, hockey also has specific timing rules that players and fans should be aware of.

Quarters or Periods in Hockey

A hockey game is divided into three periods, each lasting 20 minutes. In between each period, there is a 15-minute break, during which the teams can regroup and rest. If the game is tied at the end of the third period, there is a sudden-death overtime period, during which the first team to score wins the game.

It’s important to note that the timing of a hockey game can vary depending on the level of play. For example, in college hockey, games may have three 15-minute periods instead of three 20-minute periods. Additionally, some youth leagues may have shorter game times to accommodate younger players.

In conclusion, understanding the timing rules of hockey is crucial for both players and fans. With three periods of 20 minutes each, plus breaks in between, a hockey game typically lasts around two and a half hours. Knowing these rules can help you enjoy the game to its fullest and appreciate the skill and athleticism of the players on the ice.

Breaks in Between Quarters or Periods

In a standard hockey game, there are two breaks between the three periods. The first intermission occurs after the first period, and the second intermission happens after the second period. Each intermission lasts for 15 minutes, giving players and coaches ample time to rest and strategize.

During the intermissions, teams have the opportunity to make adjustments to their game plans, restock on supplies, and assess injuries. The zamboni, a machine used to resurface the ice, also comes out during these breaks to ensure the ice is in top condition for the next period.


In conclusion, knowing the number of quarters or periods in a hockey game is essential if you want to understand the sport fully. A standard hockey game has three periods, each lasting 20 minutes, with two breaks between them. The intermissions provide a much-needed break for players and coaches and allow them to make necessary adjustments.

Hockey is a sport that requires speed, agility, and precision, and understanding the timing rules is crucial if you want to follow the game. Whether you’re a fan watching from the sidelines or a player on the ice, knowing the rules and regulations will enhance your experience and appreciation of the sport.

At Giant Tank, we aim to provide our readers with informative and engaging content that covers a range of topics, including sports, technology, and lifestyle. If you’re interested in learning more about hockey or any other topic, be sure to check out our website for the latest news and reviews.

Related Articles

Back to top button