New soccer fans usually have plenty of questions to ask about the sport. Some want to know the soccer rules, while some have more specific questions about the goalkeepers getting sent off. But many new fans still wonder about the weather in which they can play soccer.
One question is whether it is possible to play soccer in the rain? There is a short and simple answer to that question, but there is also a more nuanced one.
Soccer is an outdoor sport, and you can play it in the rain. It is safe to play soccer in the rain on most occasions, because regular showers don’t influence the game too much for it to be canceled or postponed. But things are not always that simple.
The soccer games can be canceled due to heavy rain if a pitch becomes waterlogged. That can also be the case if there is a visual indication of lightning strikes or audible thunder. If such things occur at the scheduled kick-off time, the cancellation of the game may be necessary due to the safety of players and fans involved in the match.
This article will look more closely into everything regarding playing soccer in the rain. There are various factors to consider here.
Is it wrong to play soccer in the rain?
Many soccer beginners ask the same question – whether playing soccer in the rain is bad or wrong? But there is no reason for that to be the case. There is nothing wrong with playing soccer in the rain. Sometimes, soccer matches are even more fun because they’re played in the rain.
That is particularly the case if the field is in a good state. A pitch with good quality grass will be great for matches played in the rain. The surface does become more slippery, but the feel of a soccer game can be enhanced when the players are running and tackling in the rain.
Another part of the game that gets better when there is rain is goal celebrations. That is the case in top European competitions where soccer stars often make knee slides on the slippery grass after scoring a goal. It is thrilling to see, especially if your team scored the goal!
Sure, there are some concerns. Too much rain can hamper the games, and rain can further worsen an already poor quality soccer field. The game can also be played at a slower pace, but playing while it rains, in general, is safe. That is the case for amateurs as well as professional soccer players.
Does rain stop professional soccer games?
Usually, professional soccer matches don’t get stopped due to the rain. In most cases, the rainfall is not heavy enough to waterlog the soccer field, or for players to be in an unsafe environment. But in some instances, the referee might decide to stop a soccer match if there is too much rain. Also, the referee can even cancel the game if the rain on the field makes a lot of problems and the field’s surface becomes unplayable.
Typically, there is a way for the referee to check if the soccer field is playable. By rolling the ball through the puddles that have formed on the grass, or by letting the ball fall from a height and see whether it will bounce, the referee can decide whether to call off the game. If the ball sticks in the surface water and these areas are predominant on the field, the referee will probably cancel the game.
That sometimes happens even before the match has started. Sometimes, it occurs during a game when heavy rainfall hits the field while the teams are already playing. In professional soccer, soccer fields are much higher quality, and they are less likely to be canceled or postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
However, nature is such that it still occurs. Sometimes, there are no such preparations that can stop this from happening. Therefore, there are professional soccer games stopped due to the rain.
Does rain stop amateur soccer games?
Yes, the rain stops amateur soccer games too. Postponements due to the rain are more common in amateur soccer than in professional games. Primarily, this happens due to the quality of fields on display and the difference between the teams preparing soccer fields for games.
Professional clubs not only have the surface of better quality. They also have more people with better equipment who take care of the field properly, which is often not the case in amateur football. Because of all of this, amateur soccer fields don’t receive the same level of care.
In amateur soccer, the chances for a heavy downpour to ruin the field’s surface are far more regular occurrences. It’s more common for clubs to postpone their games or for referees to decide that the soccer field is unplayable before canceling the game. And the referees don’t take such decisions lightly.
The referee needs to conduct a pre-game inspection of the field. He will usually visit the field before the game, to check all aspects of it and see whether soccer can be played on such a surface. If it’s safe and there is not too much water, he will allow the game. But if not, then both teams will have to meet at some other time because the referee would have to call the match off.
Tips for playing soccer in the rain
Playing soccer in the rain is safe most of the time, but it’s always different to playing in dry conditions. The difference is not too great, but there are things to pay attention to. Players need to adapt to playing in the rain and sometimes these slight changes can help a soccer player perform to the best of his abilities.
Check the surface before the game starts
Before the game starts, players should look at the soccer field and see in what kind of state it is. It is the referee’s job to do that before deciding whether to allow the game. But, the players also need to be prepared. After all, they will be playing for 90 minutes on that field.
A player could know how a different, wet soccer field would affect his game and the game of his teammates. That’s particularly true in the latter stages of the game, when the surface is in far worse state.
Expect a different ball bounce
This is playing soccer in the rain 101. A ball has a different bounce when the field is wet. This difference depends on the amount of water on the field and how much it rained. But it is always different from dry conditions.
A ball will be quicker when bouncing after a long pass. It will not have the same bounce, but it will accelerate and make it harder for a player to control it. You have to consider this when playing soccer in the rain.
Wear the right soccer cleats
A different playing surface calls for different playing gear. Soccer players always use soccer cleats for the games, but they can be different when there are slippery conditions. Regular soccer cleats wouldn’t help on such a wet surface, so the use of specialized cleats is needed.
Metal studs (or blades) are best to have on your soccer cleats when playing soccer in the rain. They better take to the turf and allow a player to stay on his feet. These cleats would help you not lose your balance too easily, but with them, you have to be careful. If you step on your opponent, you could hurt him as metal studs are particularly painful to feel on your feet.
Stay on your feet
When there is rain during a soccer game, players also should lookout to stay on their feet. Yes, it’s a lot of fun making long tackles on slippery grass, but such tackles are harder to control.
That is why many players fall into the trap and make a more dangerous tackle toward the opposition player. It is not easy to time as well as when playing in regular, dry conditions. That’s why you should try and stay on your feet.
Challenge the goalkeeper
This is an interesting piece of advice which has to do with the different bounces of the ball we mentioned earlier. When there has been plenty of rain, soccer players often decide to shoot on goal from distance, to try and challenge the goalkeeper.
His visibility is slightly impaired and, more importantly, the ball has a different bounce on wet grass. This makes the goalkeeper’s job much harder. It’s harder for him to control a wet ball, which is why you could try and test him by shooting more often. You never know how the rain could help you score a goal.
So, you can play soccer in the rain – that is a regular thing that happens every week. The rain can improve how the soccer game looks to the fans in the stands and on television, especially if the turf is high quality. However, rain can cancel soccer games in certain circumstances – when it waterlogs the pitch making it unplayable, or when there is thunder and lightning close to the stadium.
Rain usually is not enough to stop professional or amateur soccer games, but it has the power to do so. Also, the conditions are different when playing soccer in the rain, so make sure you have the right soccer cleats and prepare for the ball to be more challenging to control. But don’t worry, playing soccer in the rain can be even more fun than in dry conditions!