How many quarters are in a hockey match?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

In hockey, the game is divided into periods, also known as quarters. Since 2017, the standard format for a hockey match consists of four periods, each lasting 15 minutes. This change was implemented to create a more dynamic and fast-paced game, providing players with more opportunities to showcase their skills and maintain the excitement for fans.

Between each period, there is a 2-minute break, allowing the players to catch their breath, receive instructions from their coaches, and make any necessary adjustments to their strategies. These short breaks are crucial for players to recharge and refocus before heading back onto the ice.

Additionally, there is a 15-minute intermission at half time, which occurs after the second period. This intermission serves as a more extended break, giving both teams a chance to rest, hydrate, and discuss their performance thus far. It also allows for any necessary ice maintenance to be carried out.

During this intermission, the teams switch ends of the rink. This change of ends ensures fairness in terms of any potential advantages or disadvantages due to varying ice conditions, such as temperature or humidity. Switching ends at half time helps maintain an equal playing field for both teams.

The duration of each period and the intermission times may vary slightly depending on the specific league, tournament, or level of play. However, the format of four 15-minute periods with 2-minute breaks between them and a 15-minute intermission at half time is generally followed in professional and amateur hockey matches.

Personally, as a hockey fan, I find the four-period format to be an exciting development in the sport. It allows for more frequent opportunities for goals, comebacks, and momentum swings. The shorter periods also keep the game intense and fast-paced, ensuring that spectators remain engaged throughout the entire match.

A hockey match is divided into four periods, each lasting 15 minutes, with a 2-minute break between each period and a 15-minute intermission at half time. This format has been implemented to enhance the overall experience for players and fans, making the game more dynamic and thrilling.