Quick Learn

NCAA Hockey Championship Overtime Rules

By / 5 May 2023 02:27 AM

Quinnipiac becomes the National Champion after defeating Minnesota in FrozenFour NCAA college tournaments.
Source : instagram

NCAA Hockey Championship overtime rules are sudden-victory, five minutes, and played 3-on-3. The teams are given 5 minutes to score a winning goal.

Overtime in a hockey game occurs when two teams tie after three periods. The game has been facing minor changes in the rules of NCAA hockey. Teams will play a 3-on-3 gameplay for a five-minute overtime in the regular season.

A three-person shootout is allowable in the regular season if the score remains a tie in OT. Any unexpired penalties are still applicable in this period. 

The updated rule adds Shootout is used if the games are tied in 3-on-3 five-minute games, which requires team advancements in regular season tournaments.

However, in postseason games, if the determination of a tournament champion is necessary, the results in a tie are broken by 20-minute, sudden-victory overtime periods, and the following rules are applied.

  1. To resurface ice after the completion of the regulation period.
  2. To change the sides at the end of each period.
  3. To allow a one-minute timeout per OT period.

Hockey Playoff Overtime Rules In College

College hockey playoff overtime rules are to play for extra time to score a sudden victory and play 3-on-3. It is the same as in the championship games.

The regulation can vary in different host institutions for exhibition and non-conference games. These types of games end in a tie after the 5-minute OT. But some conferences have shootouts to determine the winner or their standings in the tournament.

Quinnipac heading to Tampa, Florida after winning over OSU by 4-1
Source : instagram

College Hockey overtime rules big ten added a 3-on-3 gameplay. The Division I conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced changes to its rules.

The winner of this division will enter NCAA Tournament.

If the game is tied after the regulation period, it is broken according to the following gameplay:

  1. Firstly, the teams will play NCAA-mandated 5-on-5 sudden-death games, which will be finished as soon as any team scores.
  2. If the first game couldn't decide the winner, the second period is played but with only three skaters in each team.
  3. If the game remains a tie, the team of 3 will play a shootout.

Rules And Regulations

NCAA Hockey rules and regulations are to be equipped with the proper gear, follow the game flow, and avoid game fouls.

If a player acts outside of the rulebook then he/she gets a penalty as per the book. These are the rules to be followed strictly by student-athletes, coaches, and spectators to promote good sportsmanship and manner.

The list shows the sections of rules commanded by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

NCAA rules are sectioned into the following categories:

1. Playing Area

  • Rink
  • Goal Posts and Nets
  • Benches
  • Signal and Timing Devices

2. Teams

  • Team
  • Captain and Alternative Captains
  • Starting Line-up
  • Injured Players

3. Equipment

  • Uniforms
  • Sticks
  • Goalkeeper's Equipment
  • Illegal Equipment
  • Puck
  • Adjustment to Clothing or Equipment

4. Types of Penalties

  • Calling of Penalties
  • Minor Penalties
  • Bench Minor Penalties
  • Double-minor Penalties
  • Coincidental Penalties
  • Major Penalties
  • Match Penalties
  • Misconduct Penalties
  • Game Misconduct Penalties
  • Penalty Shot
  • Awarded Goals
  • Delayed Penalties
  • Goalkeeper's Penalties
  • Supplementary Discipline
  • Signals

5. Officials

  • Appointment of Officials
  • Referees
  • Linesmen
  • Official Scorer
  • Game Timekeeper
  • Penalty Timekeeper
  • Rea Time Scorers
  • Video Review
  • Coach's Challenge
  • Abuse of Officials
  • Physical Abuse of Officials

6. Physical Fouls

  • Boarding
  • Charging
  • Checking from Behind
  • Clipping
  • Elbowing
  • Fighting
  • Head-butting
  • Illegal Check to the Head
  • Kicking
  • Kneeing
  • Roughing
  • Slew-footing
  • Throwing Equipment

6. Restraining Fouls

  • Holding
  • Hooking
  • Interference
  • Tripping

7. Stick Fouls

  • Butt-ending
  • Cross-checking
  • High-sticking
  • Hooking
  • Slashing
  • Spearing

8. Other Fouls

  • Delaying the Game
  • Diving / Embellishment
  • Equipment
  • Forfeit of Game
  • Handling Puck
  • Illegal Substitution
  • Interference with the Goalkeeper
  • Leaving the Bench
  • Premature Substitution

9. Game Flow

  • Face-off
  • Game and Intermission Timing
  • Goals
  • Hand Pass
  • High-sticking the puck
  • Icing
  • Line Changes
  • Offside
  • Overtime
  • Puck Out of Bounds
  • Start of Game and Periods
  • Time-outs

Some rules and terms used in NCAA Ice Hockey


Team Great Britain and Canada during a face-off in Motorpoint Arena.
Source : twitter

The starting or resuming of the game by dropping the puck between the sticks of two opposing players. Face-offs are conducted in an area on the rink called the face-off spot. It occurs at every beginning and stoppage during the game. The stopping of the game might be due to offsides, icings, goals, or penalties.


A player must not enter the offensive zone before the puck while passing. Whenever such happens, the game will be stopped. A player is off-side when their skates are over the blue line of the attacking zone.


Icing is called to stop the play, when a team(equal or superior in numerical strength to the opposite team) shoots or bats over the center red line and the opposing team's red goal line. If Icing is not waved off, the play is resumed with a face-off in the defending zone of the attacking team.


Checking from behind in Ice hockey is subject to penalty. Checking is a technique to disrupt the opponent and take possession of the puck.

A player executing a check from behind the opposing player who is unaware and unable to protect or defend from the hit, such as pushes or charges, is given a penalty. However, the penalty is not assessed if the player intentionally turns around to create contact with the back.


Fighting between Logan (L) of Colorado Avalanche and Ross from Tampa Bay Lightening in NHL Stanley Cup,2022
Source : twitter

Fighting in hockey occurs as soon as someone is hit with a punch. This physical foul gives referees a wide range of penalties that they can impose.

The instigator of an altercation is the one who initiates, triggers the fighting, or demonstrates any of the criteria: verbal instigation or threats; retaliation to a prior game incident; gloves off first; menacing attitude or posture.

The aggressor in fighting is the one who continues to hit an opponent who has already lost the fight and is defenseless or unwilling to combat.

The players involved in the fighting have to face penalties accordingly.

  1. The instigator of an altercation is given a minor penalty for instigating and a Major penalty for fighting with a 10-minute misconduct.
  2. The aggressor of a fight is given a Major penalty, game misconduct, and is recorded as an aggressor for stats and suspension purposes.
  3. To clear the area of a fight, all other players who are not involved should go to their bench. And if the fighting occurs in the bench area, they should go to their defending zone.
  4. Players should not remove their helmets before engaging in a fight. The action is given a 2-minute minor penalty.
  5. Players who are engaged in fighting outside the game are given a Major penalty and a game misconduct.
  6. A Player who removes his jersey before engaging in a fight gets a minor penalty and game misconduct.


NCAA Vs NHL rules are different in terms of overtime, playing arena, and icing. They have slight differences regarding some of the game flow.

What are the differences between NHL and College Hockey Rules?

Playing Area

College and NHL hockey games are played on an ice surface called the "Rink." However, their dimensions are slightly different from each other. A professional arena requires the rink dimension to be 200 feet long and 85 feet wide.

Rules of playing area in both championships with Boards and glass, Ice markings, and faceoff-spot are the same except for the rink size.

While the corners of the college hockey rink are rounded in the Arc of a circle with a radius of 20 feet, the same is rounded with 28 feet radius of the Arc in the NHL. However, the size of the rink varies in colleges. For instance, some colleges have built larger with a width of 100 feet.

OT Rule

If the teams are tied after three regulation periods, an Overtime game of sudden death is played to break it. In NHL hockey, a 3-on-3 match is played in the regular season. The duration is 5 minutes, and the one scoring the first goal win.

If there is a tie in the college hockey Championship, there will be a 20-minute sudden-death OT period. The teams will play two such games if necessary.

If they are still in a tie, three skaters from each will take part in the shootout and will go on until the winner is determined. The host college can have different OT rules. The rules are pre-informed to the teams.

The winner of the regular season's tie games of the NHL is decided by a 3-on-3 sudden-death match of 5 minutes followed by a shootout if necessary.

In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the tie is broken by another 20-minute match switching the ends at the start of each OT. The team scoring the first goal is declared the winner.

Gunnar Vandamme skating to hit the puck in an Arena in April 2023
Source : instagram


NHL follows a strict rule for icing. Faceoff occurs in the team's defensive zone that committed an Icing violation.

Some college hockey leagues use icing with different variations, such as "no-touch" and "hybrid."

Other Rules

There are some other rules which different between the two hockey, such as a hand pass in the defensive zone is legal in NHL but not in college.

  • If the puck is thrown over the glass in the defensive zone, there will be a 2-minute penalty for the delay of the game in the NHL. However, the penalty is given if it is intentional. Else, the faceoff will occur in the defensive zone.
  • There are no restrictions on goaltenders playing the puck in NCAA hockey. But it is allowed below the goal line within the trapezoid in NHL.
  • There are slightly different rules regarding penalties. Hitting in the head is sometimes allowed in NHL but is strictly prohibited in college.

What are the similarities between NHL and College Hockey Rules?

Game format

Either of them follows the same game format as ice hockey.

  • Both hockey uses the game format of playing three games of 20 minutes with short intermissions and overtime if necessary.
  • They use the same rules for offsides, which occur when the player reaches the offensive zone before the puck.
  • Faceoff rules of restarting the game after stoppages are the same in both hockey.


Both follow the same rules of Fouls. The foul may occur physically or by restraining opposite team players.

They both follow other foul rules, such as delaying the game, diving, handling the puck, illegal substitution, etc.

Basic rules

The basic rules, such as scoring, equipment, and number of players, are similar in Frozen Four and NHL games. The ice markings, terms, props in the paying area, and zones in the rink are the same in both hockey.

Related post of Quick Learn