Ice hockey is a beloved sport that has millions of fans worldwide. It’s fast-paced, exciting and intense as players glide on ice with amazing speed and agility, trying to score goals while dodging opponents in their way. High school hockey, in particular, is equally popular among students who enjoy the game’s adrenaline rush and fierce competition.
If you’re wondering how long is a high school hockey game, then this article has got you covered. We’ll discuss the different factors that determine the duration of a typical match, such as the number of periods, breaks, and penalties. Moreover, we’ll look at each rule in detail to see how it affects the length of play during a high school hockey game.
“Understanding the time frame of any sport can help you manage your schedule and plan for an enjoyable viewing experience. Whether you’re a player, a coach or a spectator, knowing how long a high school hockey game lasts can make all the difference.”
So, if you want to discover everything there is to know about the duration of a high school hockey game, read on!
Regulation Length of High School Hockey Games
High school hockey is a popular winter sport in many parts of the United States, attracting players and fans alike. One common question that comes up related to high school hockey games is how long they last.
How Long Are High School Hockey Games?
The regulation length of a high school hockey game varies depending on the state or level of play, but typically follows the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) guidelines of three 17-minute periods, with two 12-minute intermissions between periods.
Some states or conferences may have their own variations on this regulation length. For example, some states allow for a “running clock” rule during certain situations, such as when one team has scored a certain number of goals ahead of their opponent. This means that instead of stopping the clock for every break in play, it continues to run until the next stoppage, potentially shortening the overall length of the game.
In addition to the standard regulation length, high school hockey postseason games, such as playoffs or championship games, may include sudden death overtime periods to determine a winner if the score is tied at the end of regulation time.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Regulation Length?
While the NFHS provides general guidelines for high school hockey game lengths, there can be exceptions based on specific state or conference regulations or individual game circumstances. For example, weather-related or facility issues may require adjustments to the length of a game.
One notable exception came in Minnesota during the 2017-2018 season when a boys’ high school hockey game ended after just 4 minutes and 32 seconds due to severe ice conditions caused by unseasonably warm temperatures. The game was later rescheduled to be played to completion at a later date.
Another exception may arise if one team has to forfeit for any reason, such as not having enough players or violating eligibility rules, which would result in the game being ended early and possibly recorded as a win for the opposing team.
“High school hockey is an exciting sport that offers both challenges and rewards for student-athletes. Understanding the regulations and guidelines for game lengths can help ensure fair play and safety for everyone involved.” -National Federation of State High School Associations
While high school hockey games typically follow a regulation length of three 17-minute periods with two intermissions, it’s important to check specific state or conference regulations for variations or exceptions. In addition, unforeseen circumstances or emergencies may require adjustments to the standard game time in order to prioritize player safety and fairness on the ice.
What Happens in the Overtime Period?
In a high school hockey game, if regulation time ends with a tie score, an overtime period is played to determine the winner. The sudden death method is applied, meaning that the first team to score during overtime wins the game.
The teams will switch sides and play 4-on-4 for five minutes of uninterrupted gameplay. If neither team scores during this first overtime period, another 5-minute period will be played until there’s a winner. This will continue until someone scores, giving one team the victory.
It’s worth noting that the same rules apply as they do during regular gameplay when it comes to penalties; the penalized player sits in the penalty box while their team plays short-handed. However, no additional power-play periods are added regardless of how many times a player incurs penalties during overtime.
How Long is the Overtime Period?
A standard high school hockey game consists of three 17-minute periods – total playing time of just over 51 minutes. Without any stoppages or overtime being played, that’s how long you should expect the average game to last.
If the game goes into overtime, there will be a maximum of 20 extra minutes played, divided up into at least two five-minute periods separated by ice cleanses where the Zamboni makes its way across the rink.
So altogether, the maximum amount of time a high school hockey game can run without any further delays due to overtime (or anything else) is 71 minutes.
How Many Players Are on the Ice During Overtime?
While six players from each team are normally out on the ice during regulation time, only four skaters per side get to take part in overtime.
The goal is to make gameplay more exciting and increase the chance of scoring during the comparatively short time frame. With fewer players on the ice, there’s more space to create plays and maneuver around opponents. This translates into faster puck transitions and a more dynamic game overall.
Are There Any Restrictions During Overtime?
In general, additional restrictions don’t apply when playing overtime in high school hockey. The same rules that have been used throughout the game carry over, but it’s worth reviewing them here:
- No fighting – only legal hits are allowed
- No body checking from behind or charging
- No tripping or slew footing
- No elbowing or head contact
- No slashing, hooking, or holding
If any of these infractions occur during overtime, officials have the discretion to call penalties which may lead to players being removed from the rink, skewing the balance of power even further as one team temporarily enjoys an extra player advantage.
“Let us play the game in its purest form – let the best team win.” -Mike Modano
We hope this provides you with a better understanding of how long high school hockey game take, especially including overtime periods where games can run 20 minutes longer. While some schools might modify the official rules at their own discretion, it’s important that both coaches, players, officials, and spectators all understand what to expect when watching or taking part in a high school hockey game!
Is There a Mercy Rule in High School Hockey?
High school hockey games are always intense, and players give their best to win. However, sometimes one team outperforms the other by such a significant margin that the game isn’t enjoyable for anyone involved. In those cases, the mercy rule may come into effect.
What is the Mercy Rule?
The mercy rule exists to ensure that teams don’t run up scores unnecessarily. It’s designed to end a game early if one team has an insurmountable lead over another, typically around a difference of ten goals or more. When this happens, coaches can agree to call off the rest of the game without wiping out the leading team’s victory.
When is the Mercy Rule Applied?
Whether or not to apply the mercy rule depends on several factors, including the state where the match takes place, the type of league, and the discretion of the coach. Typically, both teams’ head coaches must agree to apply the mercy rule.
In addition, some leagues have specific mandates when applying the mercy rule. For instance, high schools following National Federation High School rules apply the mercy rule at any point during the game when there is a 10-goal differential during SharkLines.
What Happens When the Mercy Rule is Applied?
The mechanics of ending a game under the mercy rule differ by the governing body and league-level policies. In most cases, the remaining time is either cut short or played as running clock mode instead of stop-clock mode. The goal is to wrap up the proceedings quickly while still keeping everyone safe and satisfied.
Apart from stopping the play altogether, the mercy rule seeks to enforce good sportsmanship between teams. It discourages the winning team from continuing to score excessively, which can lead to unwarranted injuries or hurt feelings for the losing team.
Is the Mercy Rule Applied Differently During Playoffs?
The mercy rule is only different between game-play and playoffs in high school hockey. Eligible teams are required to have played at least 40 percent of their matches before entering into the tournament phase where they compete to win a state championship.
In such cases, some tournaments require that any game with a ten-goal differential must be stopped early regardless of whether the head coaches agree. Some may even lower the threshold to six goals during playoff games. The rationale behind stricter rules is because playoff wins matter more than individual games, and it wouldn’t be fair to allow already-strong teams to rack up scores easily against weaker opponents.
“The goal of high school sports is first and foremost education-based,” says Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). “Winning isn’t everything; sportsmanship is essential to young athletes’ development.”
Therefore, high schools often adopt policies aimed at teaching student-athletes positive values like resilience, teamwork, and valuing effort over outcome. This approach extends beyond the field of play as these skills become critical attributes in shaping young people’s lives off the court as well.
High school hockey games last for three 17-minute periods with two 15 minutes intermissions made available for rest and coaching. In conclusion, while there might not be an exact metric for ending hockey prematurely due to excessive blowouts, most leagues will exercise caution to prevent harm. Sport should be enjoyed by all stakeholders, including spectators and players alike, and that starts with good sportsmanship.
How Long Can Penalties Last in High School Hockey?
High school hockey can be an intense sport, with players pushing themselves beyond their limits to win a game. However, like any other sport, there are rules in place to ensure that the game is played fairly and safely for all. One of these rules concerns penalties.
What Determines the Length of a Penalty?
The length of a penalty in high school hockey depends on the severity of the infraction committed by the player. According to USA Hockey, there are two types of penalties: minor and major. A minor penalty is given for less severe offenses, such as tripping or hooking another player, while a major penalty is given for more serious violations like fighting or boarding.
A minor penalty typically lasts for 2 minutes, whereas a major penalty usually lasts for 5 minutes. However, if a goal is scored during a minor penalty, the penalty ends immediately, while a major penalty continues to run its full duration even if goals are scored.
In addition to serving time in the penalty box, the player may also receive additional punishment based on the severity of the offense. This could include ejection from the game or suspension from future games.
What Happens When a Penalty Expires?
When a penalty expires, the player who committed the violation is allowed to return to the ice and resume playing. However, they must wait until their team gains possession of the puck before they can join the play.
It’s important to note that penalties can have a significant impact on the outcome of a game. When a team has fewer players on the ice due to penalties, it becomes more difficult to defend against the opposing team’s attacks, increasing the risk of allowing a goal.
Can a Penalty Be Extended?
In rare cases, a penalty may be extended beyond its original duration if the player commits another infraction while in the box. For example, if a player receives a minor penalty for tripping and then engages in unsportsmanlike conduct while in the box, they could receive an additional 2-minute penalty.
It’s important to note that extending penalties is relatively uncommon in high school hockey and usually reserved for particularly egregious violations of the rules.
What Happens When a Player Receives Multiple Penalties?
If a player receives multiple penalties during a game, their team will have to continue playing with fewer players on the ice until all the penalties expire or until new players are substituted in. This can cause significant difficulties for the penalized team, as their opponents will have more opportunities to score goals while they are down a player.
According to Rule 404 of USA Hockey’s official rulebook, a player who accumulates three penalties in a single game will be ejected from that game. In addition, the team’s coach may also be penalized if a player repeatedly violates the rules without being corrected or disciplined by the coach.
“The key to preventing these types of situations is clear communication between coaches, officials, and players about what is considered acceptable behavior on the ice,” says David LaBarge, President of the Minnesota State High School League. “We want our student-athletes to enjoy the sport while also learning important values like teamwork and sportsmanship.”
Penalties play an important role in ensuring fair and safe play on the ice. By understanding the rules surrounding penalties, players can avoid committing infractions and stay focused on helping their team win the game.
What Happens If the Game Ends in a Tie?
In high school hockey, games can end in a tie if both teams have scored an equal number of goals within the regulation time. However, ties are not always favorable as it could mean that no one will enjoy a decisive victory.
If the game ends in a tie, both teams receive only one point each instead of two points for a win, and zero points for a loss. This rule encourages both teams to play their best until the very end of the game, rather than settling for a draw.
During playoffs or championships, ties are usually not permitted since there must be a winner. The rules then dictate procedures such as overtime or penalty shootouts to determine a victor.
Is a Tie Possible in High School Hockey?
Yes, ties are possible in high school hockey and occur more often than you may think. It is due in part to the way the game is structured – with three periods of 15 minutes each – giving each team ample opportunity to score and possibly come out even at the end of regulation time.
Ties typically happen when the goalkeepers exhibit great skill in stopping shots throughout the game, or when both teams’ defenses take control preventing the forwards from scoring more goals.
Some have suggested that allowing for ties takes away some of the intensity and excitement of these matches, but others view them as fair outcomes especially given the effort both teams put into the game.
What Happens During Overtime When the Game is Tied?
If the game ends in a tie during regular season play, overtime is generally granted to decide a winner. In many states, high school hockey follows the NHL method of playing five minutes of four-on-four sudden-death overtime. The first team to score during this period wins the game, and if no one scores, then the match ends in a tie.
Some states use different methods for overtime. For example, Minnesota uses “Minnesota Tie Breaker” which is similar to penalty shootouts. Each team selects three players from their bench, and they all take turns shooting on goal with only the keeper present. The team that scores more goals within those three rounds wins the game.
“During playoffs or championships, ties are not usually an option, so playing overtime exerts a lot of pressure on each team as there must be a winner,” said Coach John Peters of Evansville Ice Men Club.”
Though high school hockey games can end in a tie, it occurs much less frequently than other youth sports due to modifications like overtime periods. Ties may feel lackluster to fans eager for a decisive win, yet they remain a part of the tournament setup, nonetheless, providing equal competition for both teams involved.
How Does Playoff Overtime Differ From Regular Season Overtime?
In hockey, overtime occurs when the game remains tied after regulation time. During regular season games, overtime consists of a five-minute period played with a 3-on-3 skater format followed by a shootout if necessary. However, playoff overtime differs in terms of length and rules.
Is the Overtime Period Longer During Playoffs?
Yes, unlike regular season overtime, playoffs are sudden-death situations that can go on indefinitely until one team scores a winning goal. This means there is no time limit for playoff overtime, and players must continue to play until a goal is scored. In fact, some of the longest games in NHL history have occurred during playoff overtime.
Are There Any Rule Changes During Playoff Overtime?
Yes, there are several rule changes that occur during playoff overtime. One significant change is that teams do not play with a 3-on-3 skater format as they do during regular season overtime. Instead, they play with a full complement of skaters, meaning 5-on-5 or 4-on-4 depending on penalties. Additionally, each team is permitted one timeout during playoff overtime which can be used at any point in the game.
Another notable difference is how offsides and icing rules are enforced during playoff overtime. While these rules remain the same as they are during regulation time, there is no “icing the puck” during power plays. This allows penalties to expire naturally without being affected by stoppages caused by icing calls.
What Happens If the Game Remains Tied After Playoff Overtime?
If neither team scores throughout multiple periods of playoff overtime, then the game enters into a shootout phase – similar to what happens during regular-season sudden-death overtime. In the shootout, each team selects three players to take turns attempting to score on an opposing team’s goalkeeper. If after these attempts remain tied, a sudden death system will be used until one team scores and the other misses.
Playoff overtime is longer and has specific rule changes compared to regular season overtime. Overtime strategy can vary greatly in terms of penalty kills, line combinations, and fatigue management since it can last an indefinite amount of time. Despite the differences, both add tension and adrenaline to hockey games when a champion must be determined.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the typical length of a high school hockey game?
The typical length of a high school hockey game is three periods, which are each 17 minutes long. This means that the total length of a high school hockey game is approximately 51 minutes.
Are there any specific rules regarding the length of a high school hockey game?
Yes, there are specific rules regarding the length of a high school hockey game. Each period is 17 minutes long, and there is a 10-minute intermission between the second and third periods. If the score is tied at the end of regulation, there is a five-minute sudden death overtime period.
What factors can affect the duration of a high school hockey game?
There are several factors that can affect the duration of a high school hockey game. These include stoppages in play for penalties, injuries, and goals, as well as the pace of the game and the number of shots on goal.
Do high school hockey games have overtime periods if the score is tied?
Yes, high school hockey games have overtime periods if the score is tied at the end of regulation. The overtime period is five minutes long and is played in sudden death format, meaning that the first team to score wins the game.
How long are the breaks between periods in a high school hockey game?
The break between the first and second periods in a high school hockey game is two minutes long, and the break between the second and third periods is 10 minutes long. During the intermission between the second and third periods, the teams switch ends of the rink.
Are there any exceptions to the standard length of a high school hockey game?
There are no exceptions to the standard length of a high school hockey game, which consists of three 17-minute periods and a 10-minute intermission between the second and third periods. However, in the event of inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances, the game may be postponed or shortened.