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A professional game consists of three periods of twenty minutes each, the clock running only when the puck is in play. The teams change ends for the second period, again for the third period, and again at the start of each overtime played. Recreational leagues and children's leagues often play shorter games, generally with three shorter periods of play.

Various procedures are used if a game is tied. In tournament play, as well as in the NHL playoffs, North Americans favor sudden death overtime, in which the teams continue to play twenty minute periods until a goal is scored. Up until the 1999-2000 season regular season NHL games were settled with a single five minute sudden death period with five players (plus a goalie) per side, with both teams awarded one point in the standings in the event of a tie. With a goal, the winning team would be awarded two points and the losing team none (just as if they had lost in regulation).

From 1999-2000 until 2003-04, the National Hockey League decided ties by playing a single five minute sudden death overtime period with each team having four players (plus a goalie) per side to "open-up" the game. In the event of a tie, each team would still receive one point in the standings but in the event of a victory the winning team would be awarded two points in the standings and the losing team one point. The idea was to discourage teams from playing for a tie since previously some teams might have preferred a tie and 1 point to risking a loss and zero points. The only exception to this rule is if a team opts to pull their goalie in exchange for an extra skater during overtime and is subsequently scored upon (an 'Empty Net' goal), in which case the losing team receives no points for the overtime loss.

International play and several North American professional leagues, including the NHL (in the regular season), now use an overtime period identical to that from 99-00 - 03-04 followed by a penalty shootout. If the score remains tied after an extra overtime period, the subsequent shootout consists of three players from each team taking penalty shots. After these six total shots, the team with the most goals is awarded the victory. If the score is still tied, the shootout then proceeds to a sudden death format. Regardless of the number of goals scored during the shootout by either team, the final score recorded will award the winning team one more goal than the score at the end of regulation time. In the NHL if a game is decided by a shootout the winning team is awarded two points in the standings and the losing team is awarded one point. Ties no longer occur in the NHL.

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12y ago
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13y ago

I think you're referring to NBA and College Basketball games. NBA games consist of four, 12-minute quarters while college Basketball games consist of two, 20-minute halves. I'm not sure what the reasons are other than the level of talent of each league.

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9y ago

While playing Ice Hockey, the ice surface needs to be kept smooth. Hence in order to avoid resurfacing of ice, the interval is fixed to be 20 minutes.

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10y ago

That's just the way the rules are. One might as well ask why football and basketball don't have three periods or why Baseball has 10 innings instead of four.

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14y ago

allow for propper ice resurfacing

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Q: Why does college basketball play two halves instead of four quarters?
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Related questions

Did college basketball always used halves instead of quarter?

No, they used to be quarters.

How many quarters in a college basketball game?

College basketball games are divided into halves.

How many quarters does an ncaa basketball game have?

NCAA is college basketball. College basketball has 2 20-minutes halves (no quarters.) High school basketball has 4 8-minute quarters. NBA (professional basketball) has 4 12-minute quarters.

Are their quarters in each half of college basketball?

no, just 2 halves or 3 periods

Are there four quarters in a women's college basketball game?

in nba there are 4 quaters in college there are two 20 minute halves :) hope i helped

Has college basketball always been without quarters?

yes it has always been divided into to halves

How long are quarters in college basketball?

There are two halves, each half is 15 minutes long

How many halves are in a high school basketball game?

In college basketball there are halves that are 20 minutes long In high school basketball there are quarters that are 8 minutes long In NBA there are quarters that are 12 minutes long

What does halves mean in basketball?

There are 4 quarters in basketball. So the first and second quarters are the first half and the third and fourth is the second half.

What are basketball timings?

Basketball timings vary. In high school varsity games, the game is separated into four eight minutes quarters. In college there are two twenty minute halves. It all depends.

Do you know how many halves are in a quarter in a football game?

There are four quarters with a halftime period that follows the second quarter in ncaa football.

When did Olympic basketball go from halves to quarters?

Remember it's the Olympics. They put in four quarters because it is not NBA or NBL, so it's not real basketball.