Hockey Intermissions 18 Minutes

Why Are Hockey Intermissions 18 Minutes?- Expert Explained

Hockey fans are familiar with the excitement and anticipation that builds up during intermissions. These breaks between periods allow players to catch their breath, coaches to strategize, and fans to grab a refreshment. But have you ever wondered why hockey intermissions are typically 18 minutes long? 

In this article, we delve into the reasons behind the duration of hockey intermissions and explore the various factors that contribute to this time frame.

Why are Hockey Intermissions 18 Minutes?

Hockey intermissions are 18 minutes long for several reasons. 

Firstly, they provide players with a sufficient break to rest, recover, and address any injuries or issues that may have occurred during the game. 

Secondly, intermissions offer coaches a valuable opportunity to analyze the game, make strategic adjustments, and communicate with their teams. 

Lastly, the duration of hockey intermissions accommodates the broadcast and commercial considerations. 

Below we discuss these points in more detail.

hockey Player Rest and Recovery

Player Rest and Recovery

One significant factor that influences the length of hockey intermissions is the need for player rest and recovery. Intermissions provide players with valuable recovery time because the game is fast-paced and physical. 

During the 18-minute break, athletes can rehydrate, receive medical attention if necessary, and engage in specific recovery routines to prepare for the next period. This duration strikes a balance between allowing players to rest adequately without causing significant delays in the overall game flow.

Injury Management

Intermissions play a crucial role in injury management. 

Hockey is a physically demanding sport, and players may require medical treatment or equipment adjustments during the breaks. The 18-minute time frame provides trainers and medical staff sufficient time to evaluate and address any player injuries or issues that may have occurred during the previous period. It allows for comprehensive assessments, necessary treatments, and adequate time for players to recover and resume play.

hockey Strategy and Coaching

Strategy and Coaching

Coaches play a vital role in guiding their teams to success. Intermissions offer them an opportunity to analyze the game and make necessary adjustments to strategies and tactics. 

The 18-minute duration allows coaches to gather their players, discuss game plans, review video footage, and provide constructive feedback. It gives them ample time to assess the opponents’ performance, identify patterns, and devise effective strategies for the remainder of the game.

Fan Experience

Intermissions are not just about the players and coaches; they also cater to the fans in attendance. 

The 18-minute break gives spectators time to socialize, visit concession stands, and explore the arena. It allows them to engage in conversations about the game, purchase merchandise, and enjoy the overall atmosphere of the event. 

Additionally, intermissions often feature entertainment acts or fan interactions, adding to the overall experience and excitement of attending a live hockey game.

Broadcast and Commercial Considerations

Hockey is a widely televised sport, and intermissions provide broadcasters with an opportunity to showcase advertisements, conduct interviews, and analyze the game. 

The 18-minute duration allows sufficient airtime for commercials, highlights, and expert analysis, enhancing the overall viewing experience for fans watching from home. 

It also ensures that broadcasters have enough time to provide comprehensive coverage of the game, including in-depth analysis, replays, and player interviews, further engaging the audience.

How many intermissions in hockey? 

In a standard hockey game, there are typically two intermissions, one between the first and second periods and another between the second and third periods. 

These intermissions offer valuable breaks for both players and fans, allowing them to recharge and regroup before the next period.

How long is the intermission in hockey playoffs? 

During hockey playoffs, the intermission duration may be extended to accommodate additional analyses, replays, and commercials. 

While the specific duration may vary depending on the broadcasting network and agreements, playoff intermissions are generally longer than regular-season intermissions. 

This extended time frame allows for more in-depth analysis, discussions, and advertising opportunities, creating a heightened sense of anticipation and engagement for fans.


The 18-minute duration of hockey intermissions serves multiple purposes and caters to the needs of players, coaches, fans, broadcasters, and commercial interests. 

It provides players with crucial rest and recovery time, allows coaches to strategize and make necessary adjustments, enhances the overall fan experience by offering opportunities for socialization and entertainment, and facilitates comprehensive coverage by broadcasters. 

Understanding the significance of this time frame enhances our appreciation for the game and the careful balance between entertainment and the needs of the sport.

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