Wednesday, 18 April 2012 00:00

The Game of Hockey - General Equipment and Other Facts

Written by 
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print
  • Email
Rate this item
(0 votes)




Hockey puck

Timing of a hockey game

A hockey game is usually consists of 3 periods of play. Although nowadays some men's amateur hockey league have reduced the play to 2 periods of play. This is done to increase the actual playing time since there is only 1 break between the first and second period instead of 2 breaks between the three periods. The length of the periods depend on the league you are playing in. In the National Hockey League (NHL) and in international hockey, the periods are 20 minutes each. For youth leagues the periods can vary from 10 to 20 minutes each.

There is also two types of timing in hockey: stop-time and straight-time (running time). In stop-time, the clock is stopped whenever there is a stoppage of play. This means that no time is lost when the referee blows the whistle. In straight-time, the clock continues to count down even when there is a stoppage of play. This means that if for a reason or another the play is stopped for a long time, there is less playing time for the game. This is similar to a soccer (or football for our European friends) where the entire period (or half in the case of soccer) is played within the specific amount of time displayed. But contrary to soccer, there is no extra time at the end of the game to compensate for the stoppage time that occurred during the game.

Line change

Hockey is a very demanding sport physically. Players usually do 45-90 seconds shifts on the ice. After their shift the players then do a line change. The line change works as follow: a player on the ice approaches his teams bench, the player that is going to replace him either jumps on over the board or goes on the ice through a door in the boards, the player that was on the ice exits the ice either by jumping over the boards on the bench or by going through the door in the boards. Hockey is one of the only sport where line changes can occur on the fly, i.e. during game play. A line change can also be done when the referee calls a stoppage of play.


During a hockey game, each team can take one "timeout". This timeout can be called at any point in the game and has a duration of 30 seconds. The timeout is usually used by a team to either give the players that are on the ice a rest or to explain a certain play/strategy that the coach want his players to execute when the game resumes.

(Page 4 of 4)
Read 24436 times Last modified on Sunday, 14 October 2012 19:30
Jean-Michel Roy

15+ Years experience as a goaltender

20+ Years experience playing hockey

Currently a goalie coach for Phil Martin's Goalie Academy.


Connect with me on Google +

You are here: Home Hockey Resources Beginner's Corner The Game of Hockey Displaying items by tag: general play