How Long are Hockey Intermissions? Uncover the Facts!



How Long are Hockey Intermissions?

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How Long are Hockey Intermissions? Hockey intermissions typically last 15 to 20 minutes. NHL games usually have two intermissions of 18 minutes each.

Intermissions in hockey serve several purposes. Players get a chance to rest and recover. Coaches use this time to strategise and adjust game plans. Fans can enjoy various entertainment activities in the arena or take a break themselves. The ice surface also gets resurfaced, ensuring optimal playing conditions.

Understanding the length and purpose of hockey intermissions enhances the viewing experience. Whether watching in person or on TV, knowing what happens during these breaks adds an extra layer of appreciation for the sport. It’s a vital part of the game that keeps both players and fans engaged.

The Basics Of Hockey Intermissions

Hockey is an exciting sport that keeps fans on the edge of their seats. Intermissions are a crucial part of the game. They allow players to rest and strategise. Understanding the basics of hockey intermissions can enhance your viewing experience.

Breaking Down The Game’s Structure

A standard hockey game consists of three periods, each lasting 20 minutes. Between these periods, there are intermissions.

  • First Period: 20 minutes of play
  • First Intermission: Rest period
  • Second Period: 20 minutes of play
  • Second Intermission: Rest period
  • Third Period: 20 minutes of play

This structure helps players maintain peak performance. It also allows fans to grab snacks or discuss the game.

The Duration Of Intermission Breaks

Hockey intermissions typically last 15 to 18 minutes. During this time, ice resurfacing machines smooth the ice to ensure optimal playing conditions.

Here is a quick breakdown:

Intermission Duration
First Intermission 15-18 minutes
Second Intermission 15-18 minutes

Fans can use this time to visit restrooms, grab food, or discuss the game. Teams use these breaks to plan strategies and rest.

Understanding these breaks can help you enjoy the game more and make it flow smoother for everyone involved.

Intermissions: More Than Just A Pause

Intermissions in hockey games are more than just a break. They offer a chance for players, coaches, and even the ice to reset. Fans often use this time to grab snacks or chat with friends. But what happens during these breaks? Let’s dive deeper.

Ice Resurfacing Rituals

The ice needs to stay smooth for the game. During intermissions, the Zamboni comes out. This machine scrapes the ice and then lays down a thin layer of water. The water freezes quickly, creating a fresh surface. This helps players skate faster and safer.

Teams often have their own ice-resurfacing rituals. Some arenas play specific music. Others have mascots ride the Zamboni. This keeps the fans entertained while the ice gets ready.

Team Strategy Sessions

Intermissions are crucial for team strategies. Coaches use this time to talk to players, discuss what worked in the first period, and discuss what needs to change.

Coaches might use a whiteboard to draw plays. Players can ask questions and offer their input. This team discussion helps everyone stay on the same page.

Players also get a chance to rest. They can grab a drink, stretch, and catch their breath. This short break helps them perform better in the next period.

Intermissions are busy behind the scenes too. Equipment managers check gear and make repairs. Medical staff treat any minor injuries. All these activities ensure that players are ready to return to the ice.

Comparing Leagues: Intermission Length Variations

Hockey fans know that intermissions are a crucial part of the game. The length of these breaks can vary. This depends on the league. Let’s explore these differences.

Nhl Standards

The NHL, or National Hockey League, has set standards for intermission lengths. Each intermission lasts 18 minutes. This allows time for players to rest. It also gives fans a break. During this time, the ice is resurfaced.

Minor And European Leagues

Minor leagues often have shorter intermissions. Typically, they last 15 minutes. European leagues can vary. Some have 15-minute breaks, while others go up to 20 minutes.

League Intermission Length
NHL 18 minutes
AHL (Minor) 15 minutes
European League 15-20 minutes

International Tournaments

International tournaments have their own rules. The IIHF sets a standard of 15 minutes. This is common in events like the World Championships and the Olympics. These breaks are shorter than the NHL.

Understanding these differences can enhance your viewing experience. Each league has its own rhythm. Enjoy the game, no matter which league you follow!

Behind The Scenes During Intermissions

Hockey games are full of action, but intermissions are just as exciting. What happens behind the scenes during these breaks? Let’s explore the activities and people involved.

Locker Room Dynamics

During intermissions, the locker room is a hub of activity. Players catch their breath and hydrate. Coaches discuss strategies and adjustments. Medical staff attend to minor injuries. The atmosphere is a mix of focus and urgency.

  • Players: Rest, hydrate, and refuel
  • Coaches: Discuss tactics and motivate the team
  • Medical Staff: Provide quick treatments and support

Broadcasting Crews At Work

Broadcasting crews have their own tasks during intermissions. They prepare for the next segment, review highlights, and set up interviews. Camera operators adjust angles and check equipment. The goal is to keep the audience engaged and informed.

Role Task
Commentators Analyze game events and prepare insights
Camera Operators Adjust angles and check equipment
Producers Coordinate interviews and highlights

Every member of the crew ensures a smooth broadcast. Their work keeps the audience entertained during the break.

Fan Engagement Opportunities

Hockey intermissions are more than just breaks in the game. They offer fantastic fan engagement opportunities. Fans stay entertained and involved throughout the game. These breaks keep the excitement alive and the crowd buzzing.

In-arena Entertainment

During intermissions, arenas come alive with various entertainment activities. Mascot performances delight both young and old. Cheerleaders keep the energy high with their routines. Music and light shows add to the spectacle. Some arenas host mini-games like puck shooting contests or relay races. These activities keep fans glued to their seats, eagerly awaiting the next period.

Promotions And Giveaways

Promotions and giveaways are a big hit during hockey intermissions. Fans love the chance to win prizes. These can range from team merchandise to free tickets for future games. Promotional events often include raffles and trivia contests. Sponsors might offer free samples or discounts, adding more value for the fans.

  • Free t-shirts tossed into the crowd
  • Signed merchandise giveaways
  • Discount vouchers for food and drinks

These fan engagement activities ensure that the energy in the arena remains high. Fans appreciate these gestures, feeling more connected to the team and the event.

How Long are Hockey Intermissions?


The Impact Of Intermissions On Players

Intermissions in hockey are more than just a break in the action. They significantly impact players, providing essential time for both physical recovery and mental reset. Understanding this impact sheds light on why these breaks are crucial for the game.

Physical Recovery

Hockey is a high-intensity sport requiring a lot of energy. Players need intermissions to replenish their energy levels and recover from physical exertion.

  • Intermissions allow players to hydrate and refuel.
  • Medical staff can attend to any injuries or strains.
  • Players can receive massages to relieve muscle tension.

This break helps players return to the ice feeling refreshed and ready to perform at their best.

Mental Reset And Focus

The mental aspect of hockey is just as demanding as the physical. Intermissions provide a much-needed mental break for players.

  1. Players can review strategies and make adjustments.
  2. Coaches provide feedback and guidance.
  3. Time to relax helps reduce stress and anxiety.

This mental reset ensures players stay focused and maintain their competitive edge.

Historical Evolution Of Intermission Times

The historical evolution of intermission times in hockey has undergone significant changes. These changes reflect the sport’s growth and its adaptation to modern demands. From humble beginnings to the influence of broadcasting, the duration and purpose of intermissions have evolved considerably.

Origins And Early Practices

In the early days of hockey, intermissions were brief. They lasted just long enough for players to catch their breath. The primary purpose was to allow the ice to be resurfaced. This ensured a better playing surface for the next period. Early hockey games were more about the sport and less about entertainment.

Teams would take a short break, usually around 10 minutes. During this time, players would hydrate and strategize. Fans would socialize and discuss the game. These early practices laid the groundwork for the structured intermissions we see today.

Changes Influenced By Broadcasting

With the advent of television, the nature of intermissions began to change. Broadcasting networks saw intermissions as an opportunity. They could air commercials and engage viewers with analysis and highlights. As a result, intermissions were extended to around 15 to 18 minutes.

This change benefited both the sport and its fans. Players had more time to rest and recover. Broadcasters could generate revenue through advertisements. Fans enjoyed enhanced game coverage and insights.

Today, intermissions often feature entertainment segments. These include interviews, expert analysis, and even on-ice activities. The evolution of intermission times reflects the balance between sport and entertainment.

How Long are Hockey Intermissions?


How Long are Hockey Intermissions?


Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Are The Intermissions In The Nhl?

NHL intermissions last 18 minutes each. There are two intermissions in a standard game. This allows time for ice resurfacing.

Why Are Hockey Intermissions 18 Minutes?

Hockey intermissions are 18 minutes to allow ice resurfacing, player rest, and broadcast commercials. This ensures optimal game quality.

How Long Is The Break Between The 2nd And 3rd Period In Hockey?

The break between the 2nd and 3rd period in hockey is 15-20 minutes. It allows teams to rest.

Do Nhl Players Eat Between Periods?

Yes, NHL players eat between periods. They consume light snacks like fruit, energy bars, and drinks to refuel.


Understanding hockey intermissions is crucial for fans and players. These breaks typically last 15 to 20 minutes. They allow teams to rest, strategize, and prepare for the next period. Knowing the duration of intermissions helps you plan your time better.

Enjoy the game with this newfound knowledge!

About the author


Hey hockey fans, lace up your skates and get ready for a face-off with yours truly, Freddy Scheerer! As a hockey player with a passion for the game, I’m here to share my knowledge, experiences, and love for all things hockey. So join me as we explore the exciting world of hockey! Get ready for drills, discussions, and a whole lot of hockey love. Let’s drop the puck and get this blog started!

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