Hockey is a fast-paced and exciting sport that has gained a lot of popularity over the years. However, if you’re new to the game, you might be wondering how it’s played and how long it lasts.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: There are no quarters in hockey. Instead, the game is divided into three periods of 20 minutes each.

In this article, we’ll explore the rules and regulations of hockey, how the game is played, and what makes it such an exciting sport to watch and play.

Understanding the Basics of Hockey

Hockey is a thrilling sport that boasts a rich history and a global following. It is played on ice between two teams of six players each, who try to score goals by hitting a puck into the opposing team’s net with a stick. Here are some key elements to understand the basics of hockey:

The Objective of the Game

The aim of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team within the allocated time, which is typically three periods of 20 minutes each. If the game is tied at the end of regulation time, overtime or a shootout may be used to determine the winner.

The Equipment Used in Hockey

Hockey players wear a lot of protective gear to minimize the risk of injury. This includes helmets, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, shin guards, and skates. The stick used in hockey is made of wood or composite materials and has a curved blade at one end to control the puck.

The Role of the Players on the Ice

Each team has six players on the ice at any given time. These players are divided into three positions: forwards, defensemen, and goaltenders. Forwards are responsible for attacking and scoring goals, while defensemen focus on defending their own goal and preventing the opposing team from scoring. Goaltenders are the only players who are allowed to stop the puck from entering their team’s net, and they wear specialized equipment to protect themselves.

How the Game is Played

When it comes to hockey, understanding the basics of how the game is played is crucial. Here are some key elements:

  • Face-Offs and Drop Pucks: At the start of each period and after a goal is scored, the game begins with a face-off. Two players from opposing teams stand opposite each other and try to win possession of the puck. If the play is stopped for any other reason, the puck is dropped by the referee between two players to restart the action.
  • Scoring in Hockey: The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team. A goal is scored when the puck crosses the goal line and enters the net. If the puck is shot from behind the red line and goes in the net, it does not count as a goal. If a player uses their hand or high-stick to touch the puck and then scores a goal, it is not allowed.
  • Penalties and Power Plays: If a player commits a penalty, such as tripping or hooking, they must sit in the penalty box for a designated amount of time. The opposing team then has a power play, meaning they have one more player on the ice than the penalized team. Power plays often lead to more scoring opportunities. If a team commits multiple penalties, they may face a 5-on-3 disadvantage, which is even more challenging to defend.

Understanding these fundamental aspects of the game can help you follow along and appreciate the skill and strategy involved in hockey. For more information on rules and regulations, check out NHL’s official rules.

The Excitement of Watching and Playing Hockey

Hockey is a thrilling game to watch and play, with its fast-paced action and heart-pumping moments. The speed and agility of the players make for an exhilarating experience, as they glide across the ice and maneuver the puck with precision.

But what truly makes hockey special is the passion and energy of the fans. From the roar of the crowd during a goal to the chants and cheers throughout the game, the atmosphere in a hockey arena is unlike any other.

Playing hockey requires both physical and mental demands, as players must be in top shape to handle the intensity of the game. The physicality of the sport can be intense, with players constantly battling for the puck and jostling for position.

However, hockey also demands mental toughness and strategy, as players must make split-second decisions and anticipate the movements of their opponents. The ability to read the game and make smart decisions can be the difference between winning and losing.


In conclusion, hockey is a thrilling and dynamic sport that combines speed, skill, and strategy. While there are no quarters in hockey, the game is divided into three periods of 20 minutes each. Understanding the basics of the game, how it’s played, and what makes it exciting to watch and play is key to fully enjoying the sport.

Whether you’re a fan of hockey or new to the game, we hope this article has provided you with valuable insights into the world of hockey and its many nuances.

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