We've already learned about the game clock and penalty clock in ice hockey. The game clock keeps track of time in the period. The penalty clock keeps track of the penalty and how long a player must remain in the penalty box before coming back onto the ice.
In this tutorial, we will learn about timeouts in ice hockey or special abilities for coaches and players to stop the clocks at will.
Timeouts are special calls a team can use to temporarily stop the game clock and penalty clock from ticking.
How Many In Regulation?
So how many timeouts does a team get during regulation? This depends on the level of play (youth, college, pro).
Timeouts are not as important or a big part of ice hockey as they are in other sports. Since teams only get one timeout, they must be careful when they choose to use it.
How Many In Overtime?
Calling A Timeout
Anyone can call a timeout during an ice hockey game, but the coach will typically signal for one.
A timeout can only be called:
- during a normal stoppage of play
- when the puck is 'dead'
A team will use a timeout for one of the following reasons:
- to change the play design
- to be used in a coach's challenge.
Changing The Play Design
A team may decide to change the play design if they see the opposing team positioned in a specific way. Calling a timeout will give them time to regroup and change strategy. We will learn about ice hockey strategies in future chapters.
PRO TIP: Ice hockey allows for unlimited substitutions at any time during a game, so it is not necessary for a timeout to be called for a substitution. However, a coach may use a timeout if the player needs more time to come on and off the ice.