If you’re a hockey fan, you know that the game is full of fast-paced action and intense competition. But have you ever wondered how long those breaks between periods are? Whether you’re planning your own intermission activities or just curious about how long you’ll have to wait for the next round, it’s important to know how much time you’ll have.
Luckily, we’ve got you covered with all the information you need about hockey intermissions. From the NHL to international competitions, we’ll take a look at how long these breaks typically last, what happens during them, and why they’re an essential part of any good game.
“Hockey is more than just a game – it’s a cultural phenomenon that brings people together from around the world. And one of the things that makes it so unique is the ritual of the intermission.”
So whether you’re a die-hard fan or just getting started in the sport, read on to learn everything you need to know about hockey intermissions!
Why Do Hockey Games Have Intermissions?
Rest and Recovery for Players
Hockey is an intense sport that requires a lot of physical exertion from the players. With games lasting around 60 minutes, it’s important to have rest periods in between play to allow the athletes time to recover. These intermissions typically last 15-20 minutes and give the players a chance to catch their breath, hydrate, re-fuel with snacks, and get any necessary medical attention.
“During hockey games, there are pretty much no stoppages. That’s why managers try to arrange schedules so teams don’t have back-to-back games, or three out of four nights on the road because recovery becomes an issue.” – Dr. John Ward, sports medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System”
Entertainment for Fans
In addition to providing vital rest for the players, hockey intermissions also serve as a source of entertainment for fans. During these breaks in play, various activities take place on the ice to keep spectators engaged. From shooting contests and fan giveaways to team merchandise promotions and music performances, intermissions give fans a break from watching action-packed gameplay while still keeping them entertained.
“We like to offer something entertaining for everyone during our intermissions,” said Arielle Zuckerberg, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for the San Jose Sharks NHL franchise. “Whether it be a game show like we’ve been doing lately, musical performance or a themed promotion, we hope to create an enjoyable atmosphere for our guests.”
Hockey games put a lot of wear and tear on the playing surface, which means it needs regular upkeep throughout each game. The intermissions provide the perfect opportunity for crews to come onto the ice and repair any damage done during the previous period of play. In addition to fixing divots and shaving down rough patches, crews will also resurface the ice with a fresh layer of water to ensure that it remains smooth and safe for the players.
“During intermissions and timeouts, our crew gets on the ice and does their magic,” said Joe Louis Arena operations manager Mike Kuplicki, “We’ll fill in any holes, spray some paint on them so they’re easy to see, and then we’ll scrape down and clean up the rest of the ice.”
So there you have it – hockey games have intermissions to provide much-needed rest for the players, entertain the fans, and maintain the playing surface. These breaks serve as crucial moments within the game and aren’t just an excuse to grab another beer or use the restroom!
What Happens During Hockey Intermissions?
Hockey intermissions are short breaks between the three periods of a hockey game. These brief rest periods provide an opportunity for players and coaches to regroup, fans to refuel and refresh themselves, and venues to conduct various activities.
Zamboni Ice Resurfacing
The most anticipated event during a hockey intermission is the Zamboni ice resurfacing. This machine smooths out any bumps or unevenness on the ice surface, melts away any excess snow, and adds a fresh layer of water to create a smooth skating surface.
The machine takes about 10-15 minutes to resurface the arena’s entire rink. Interestingly, did you know that the first Zamboni was invented in California in 1949 by Frank J. Zamboni? It has since revolutionized the maintenance process for ice-skating rinks worldwide.
Player and Coach Meetings
During hockey intermissions, teams also hold meetings with their respective coaches where they strategize their next moves based on how the opponents have played up until then. For instance, a coach may instruct their team to switch from a defensive-heavy approach to a more attacking style if the situation calls for it. Some teams may opt to send messages across to other members as well in preparation for the final period.
It is essential for hockey players to rehydrate during these small breaks. They typically consume sports drinks like Gatorade – this helps them to replace electrolytes which they lose while sweating during gameplay.
Performance and Entertainment Acts
In addition to meetings and Zamboni routines, intermissions facilitate performances and entertainment acts. Most games invite celebrities, cheerleaders, acrobats, mascots, dance groups, and other entertainers to perform during intermissions. This keeps the audience engaged between periods and builds energy for the final push of the game.
An example of a widely recognized entertainment act is The Cowboy Monkey Rodeo that involves monkeys dressed as cowboys riding on dogs at some minor league games. It is quite a site!
Concession and Merchandise Sales
Hockey intermission also gives fans time to purchase food, drinks, admire souvenirs or interact with concessions personnel. Food options include burgers, hotdogs, pizzas, popcorns, fries, nachos, and candy bars while beverages range from soft drinks to alcoholic ones like beer, wines, bourbon and whiskey cocktails.
Fans may use this time to browse through team merchandise tables offering jerseys, caps, scarfs, posters, mugs, glasses, and many other items. These items help show support to their favourite teams – it’s almost impossible not to see someone sporting an NHL licensed product.
“Hockey has helped to build character and self-confidence in young individuals.”- Wayne Gretzky
All said, hockey intermissions pave the way for various activities that have become integral components of the sport. They provide equally unique experiences, be it performances by tigers leaping through flaming hoops leading up to the third period or chatting with fellow fans about the game so far. As the second period comes to a close, everyone prepares for the last push before a conclusion is finally reached!
How Long Are Regular Intermissions During Hockey Games?
Hockey is a fast-paced and exciting sport that many people enjoy watching. However, if you’ve never been to a game before, you may be wondering how long intermissions typically last.
The standard length for an intermission during a regular hockey game is 15 minutes. This gives players time to rest, rehydrate, and refuel for the next period. It also allows fans to take a break, grab some food or drinks, and maybe even explore the stadium.
During this time, the ice is resurfaced so that it’s smooth and ready for the next period. The Zamboni machine drives around the rink and sprays hot water, which melts any cuts or grooves in the ice that have developed over the previous period. The excess water is then removed by a squeegee mechanism, leaving behind fresh, clean ice.
15 minutes may not seem like a lot of time, but it’s enough for everyone involved to recharge and prepare for what’s to come.
20 Minutes for National Broadcast Games
In some cases, such as when a game is being nationally broadcast on television, the intermission may be extended to 20 minutes. This gives broadcasters more time to air commercials and highlights, while still allowing players and fans adequate time to rest.
This doesn’t happen very often, and most local games will still stick with the standard 15-minute intermission.
“Hockey is a unique sport in the sense that you need each and every guy helping each other and pulling in the same direction to be successful.” – Wayne Gretzky
Whether it’s 15 or 20 minutes, intermissions are an important part of the hockey experience. They give everyone a chance to regroup and recharge, while also providing some much-needed entertainment between periods.
So next time you’re at a game, enjoy the break and get ready for even more excitement once play resumes!
Are Intermissions Longer During Playoffs or Special Events?
Yes, Intermissions Can Be Extended
Hockey is a fast-paced game and players need some time to rest, hydrate, and re-energize between periods. Typically, intermission during hockey games lasts for 15 minutes, which provides enough time for the teams to take a break, coaches to strategize, and fans to grab refreshments. However, during playoffs or special events, intermissions can be extended.
In fact, intermissions during NHL playoffs often last for a longer period of time than regular-season games. The length of playoff intermissions usually ranges from 17 to 20 minutes, providing players with extra time to catch their breath and adjust strategies as needed. This also offers an opportunity for broadcasters to run more commercials and provide additional analysis during the game.
“We want our audience to have a great experience,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver. “Intermissions are part of the live-action entertainment that happens during our games, and extending them slightly during more significant matchups can certainly add excitement.”
Similarly, during outdoor games like the Winter Classic, Heritage Classic, Stadium Series, or even during special occasions such as All-Star Games, intermissions may be extended due to logistical reasons. There may be delays in setting up the rink, warm-ups, or other activities that extend the duration of breaks between play.
Intermissions Vary Depending on Event and Venue
The amount of time given for intermissions can vary based on the venue and nature of the event. For example, Olympic hockey games follow a different structure than traditional pro-games, with intermissions lasting only 15 minutes after the second period instead of the usual first and second periods break.
Additionally, different rules may apply for intermissions during league, collegiate or high school games. Local bylaws and team policies could affect the length of breaks in play, which is why it’s essential to double-check with officials before attending a game.
While some may feel that longer intermissions detract from the flow of the game, extended breaks offer benefits to both players and fans. Taking an extended break helps prevent injuries and allows players to keep up their stamina throughout the game. For viewers, additional commentary or other entertainment options can add excitement and provide extra context to the game.
“Longer intermissions allow broadcasters an opportunity to tell more stories about players, teams and the cities in which they are playing,” said ESPN NHL commentator Barry Melrose. “And, it gives hockey fans time to take care of life events so they can fully commit to watching the next period.”
Whether you’re a player, coach, broadcaster, or fan, understanding how long hockey intermissions last and when they may be extended can help you prepare accordingly. With these factors in mind, you can ensure you never miss out on any part of the action.
How Do Teams Use Intermissions to Their Advantage?
Hockey games are composed of three periods, with two intermissions happening during the game. Each hockey intermission lasts for 15 minutes, which is enough time for teams to regroup and strategize their next moves. During intermissions, players take advantage of this break by doing various things that will help them win the game. Here are some ways on how teams use intermissions to their advantage:
Review Game Footage and Adjust Strategies
One of the advantages of having an intermission in a hockey game is the chance to review game footage from previous periods and adjust strategies based on what was observed. Coaches use video recordings to analyze each player’s movements, strategy execution, and other factors affecting the team’s performance. Based on these observations, coaches can develop new plays or modify existing ones to perform better and secure the victory.
Receive Medical Treatment and Rest
Hockey games can be physically demanding, and injuries can happen at any time. Therefore, players also use intermissions to receive medical treatment to recover quickly. If someone gets injured during a game, he or she may receive first aid treatment, rest, and therapy if necessary. Players are re-energized after resting – both mentally and physically refreshed – as they head back into the game.
Refuel with Snacks and Hydration
Athletes need energy to keep up with the fast pace of the game, so top athletes use healthful foods for fueling up before and sometimes even during breaks in play. Foods include drinking protein shakes, smoothies with fruits, vegetables, and greens, different types of sandwiches, cereal, granola, yogurt cups, fruit salads, whole carrots or cucumbers packs, among others. These foods give players glycogen and other substances that provide stamina and muscle recovery, keeping them fueled until the end of the game.
Mentally Prepare for the Next Period
Hockey is a physically demanding sport, no doubt – but it’s also one-dimensional if you don’t plan out your next moves. Intermissions are perfect opportunities for teams to sit together and talk about their strategy and prepare mentally for what has yet to come in the rest of the game. The coaching staff uses this time to inspire and motivate players so they can focus on winning and finishing strong in the final period of the game.
“If you’re looking towards the future…you won’t be able to enjoy what you have now.” – Patrick Kane
Intermissions during hockey games are more than just restroom breaks! They’re crucial moments used by teams to improve their strategies, heal injured players, re-energize through food and water, and stay focused with inspiring conversations. All these efforts could help secure their victory in the remaining periods of the game.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long are typical hockey intermissions?
Typical hockey intermissions last for 17 minutes. This gives players time to rest and recover from the first period and coaches time to make any necessary adjustments. During the intermission, the ice is resurfaced, and the teams switch sides.
Are hockey intermissions longer during playoffs?
Yes, hockey intermissions are longer during playoffs. They last for 18 minutes instead of the usual 17 minutes. This allows for more time for coaches to make adjustments and for players to rest and recover during the high-intensity playoff games.
What happens during a hockey intermission?
During a hockey intermission, the ice is resurfaced, and the teams switch sides. Players use the time to rest, rehydrate, and refuel with snacks. Coaches discuss strategies and make any necessary adjustments. Fans can also enjoy performances or watch highlights on the arena’s jumbotron.
Do NHL and college hockey games have the same length of intermissions?
No, NHL and college hockey games do not have the same length of intermissions. NHL intermissions last for 17 minutes, while college hockey intermissions last for 15 minutes. This is because college hockey games have shorter periods, so there is less time between periods.
How do players and coaches use the intermission time to prepare for the next period?
Players and coaches use the intermission time to rest, rehydrate, and refuel. They also discuss strategies and make any necessary adjustments. Coaches may show video clips on a tablet or whiteboard to visualize plays and game situations. Players may stretch or do warm-up exercises to stay loose and prevent injuries.
Can fans leave the arena during hockey intermissions?
Yes, fans can leave the arena during hockey intermissions. However, they must have a valid ticket and hand stamp to re-enter. Fans may leave to use the restroom, get food or drinks, or purchase merchandise. Some arenas have designated areas for smoking or vaping during intermissions.