How Many Periods Are In Olympic Hockey? [Facts!]

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The Winter Olympics are now over, and the world learned a lot about hockey. One thing we learned is that there are actually two periods and three overtime periods in the game. It’s always good to know more about a subject, especially when it comes to something as complicated as sports. Hockey is a very complicated game because it combines so many different elements. It might seem easy enough, but that’s because we’re used to it. For those of you who are new to the sport, here’s a run-down of how many periods there are in hockey, and what they mean.

The Two Periods

In the NHL, the two periods last for two and a half to three hours, depending on the game length. During the first intermission, the teams will change ends, with the home team going into the dressing room and the visitors staying out for the remainder of the game. It’s a common phrase among hockey fans to refer to the first period as the “evening period” because the game usually starts around 5:00 p.m. and ends around 9:00 p.m. On average, each period in the NHL lasts around forty-five minutes, though this can vary widely. These are the official periods of play. Technically speaking, a period begins when the referee blows the horn to start the clock and ends when the referee blows the horn to stop the clock. A break in between is called an intermission.

The Three Overtimes

In the Olympics, the three overtime periods last for five to ten minutes each. During the first two overtime periods, there’s no stoppage in play. The periods start and stop on their own accord. There’s no clock to worry about in these sessions, so everything is up to the teams competing for a medal. It’s important to note here that the game still ends once the last puck is dropped; the team still wins or loses the game individually. In the third overtime period, the teams switch ends again, and the visitors get to skate on their home ice. The horn will once again be used to signify the beginning and end of each period during the finals, just like in the NHL. The term “golden hockey period” is often used to refer to this final period.

As we mentioned earlier, hockey is a very complicated game, which is why it took a while for the world to learn about the two periods and three overtime periods. Even now, some people don’t know that there are three periods and two overtimes in hockey. It’s good to know more about a sport so that you can fully understand what’s going on, and so that you can appreciate the strategy that the coaches and the players are employing. Knowing the basic rules of the game will also help you have intelligent conversations with fans of the sport, as well as with professional players when you’re following the sport closely. For instance, if you’re a hockey nerd like us, you’ll know exactly what Ryan Reaves is talking about when he uses the phrase “power play.”

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