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Rule 636 | Start of Game and Time of Match/Time-Outs

Rule 636 | Start of Game and Time of Match/Time-Outs

(a) The game shall start at the scheduled time with a face-off conducted at the center ice face-off spot. The maximum length of a game shall be three 20-minute periods with a 15-minute intermission, allowing for an ice resurface, between each period. Each period shall start promptly at the end of the intermission with a face-off conducted at the center ice face-off spot.

(b) Three minutes prior to the start of the game and each period, each team shall be notified so they can return to the ice in time to start the game promptly at the conclusion of the intermission. It is recommended that the intermission time be placed on the game clock in an effort to keep teams and spectators informed.

Any team that has not returned to the ice, without proper justification, and is prepared to play at the conclusion of the intermission shall, after a warning by the Official, be assessed a bench minor penalty for delay of game.

(c) Prior to the start of the game, each team is provided an opportunity to warm-up (maximum of 20 minutes) on their half of the rink. The length of the warm-up time and decision to resurface the ice (15-minute intermission) or begin the game immediately shall be agreed upon by both teams or determined by the Proper Authorities prior to the game. 

(d) Each team shall defend the goal closest to its bench for the start of the game unless the benches are on the opposite side of the ice. Then the home team shall choose which end to defend. The teams shall switch ends for the start of each subsequent period.

The home team shall enter the ice surface first and if both teams are to leave the ice through a common exit, it is recommended that the team whose bench is closest to the exit shall leave the ice first.

(e) If in the opinion of the Officials, conditions are more favorable at one end of the rink, the officials may have the teams change ends at the midway point of the third period and during each overtime period so each team has an equal opportunity to play with the advantage. This changing of ends should occur at the exact midpoint of the period.

If any unusual delay occurs in the first or second periods, the Officials may order the next regular intermission to be taken immediately. The remainder of the period will be completed upon the conclusion of the intermission with the teams defending the same goals. At the conclusion of that period, the teams will change ends and resume play for the next period without any delay. 

If in the opinion of the officials, the playing conditions (such as ice conditions, broken boards/glass or weather) become unsatisfactory during the course of the game, the game may be suspended and the conditions reported to the Proper Authorities.

(f) Each team is permitted one time-out of 60 seconds duration during the game whether in regulation play or overtime. For time curfew games, no time-outs shall be permitted.

Time-outs must be requested during a stoppage of play prior to the conclusion of the line change procedure. If a team were to request to use their time-out during the same stoppage of play as their opponent, this request must be made prior to the conclusion of the first time-out.

Either team may use a time-out for the purpose of warming up their goalkeeper. However, no more than four pucks per team shall be allowed for this purpose. Non-penalized players and goalkeepers may proceed to their respective players’ bench during any time-out.