The beauty of soccer is that you can still play it in quite harsh conditions, this does also include a rainy day with even a soaked ground! However, this could has some limits, not only regarding the rules, but also for your safety …
… In this Post, I give you some useful details on how you should approach playing soccer during and after rain.
Let’s dive in!
Can You Play Soccer in the Rain?
Soccer, especially at the highest level, requires the top players to perform in any weather conditions.
However, if you are just starting your journey, the prospect of playing this great sport in rainy conditions might still be unknown territory for you.
As a former Pro, I know for a fact that rain does not represent something that can prevent you from playing even at your maximum performance.
After all, the referee will not call off the match, unless it is pouring rain! Or maybe not! It is a tough decision that the match officials will need to make.
However, besides my personal experience, it is also important to take a closer look at the historical data. One notable game, that our grandfathers probably remember is the 1954 FIFA World Cup Final in which West Germany beat Hungary with a score of 3-2.
In this case, the rain helped the German side to win the game as they had Fritz Walter. The legendary attacking midfielder performed even better in wet conditions.
Another more recent example comes from the Premier League and the North London derby. The game at the Emirates Stadium was played under typical London rain. Yet, that did not prevent the Gunners from playing their well-known passing game as they secured a routine 2-0 derby win.
Best Cleats for Rain and Wet Ground
As part of the soccer planning in rainy conditions, it is important to have cleats that are adapted for rain and wet ground. After all, you would not want to slide on the pitch …
… Remember, soccer is not a water sport, at least not for many of us.
As far as I am concerned, my favourite brand of cleats for rainy conditions are the Nike Unisex Tiempo Legend 7 Elite FG (Check it Here on Amazon) that were my number 1 choice for the past 4 seasons and from my “modest” experience, I believe the design is ideal for playing on rainy days.
This is because this model is made out of premium kangaroo leather and unique interior quality.
Moreover, these cleats provide stability due to the flywire cables that are integrated with the lace which locks down the foot.
Additionally, the Nike Unisex Tiempo Legend 7 Elite FG cleats have stability pods that are placed inside the collar cup. This is very beneficial as it supports the stability of the ankle.
While I can go all day in praising this model, the ultimate question here is how these or any other cleats can help you play in wet conditions? Well, I cannot stress enough how important is to have your feet stable and supported while playing on a wet pitch.
These cleats will prevent you from sliding inside the boot and will lower the potential for slips on the pitch.
This is because the design includes interlocking textures and hyperstability plate. Additionally, it can prevent you from getting into some nasty tackles that can result in unpleasant bookings, to say the least!
Other Important accessories to have …
Playing on rainy days is something that requires different equipment. First and foremost, you will need a proper soccer ball for rain.
Also, from personal experience, I strongly recommend wearing gloves for protection. Compression shorts too!
Now, some soccer gurus find these compression shorts (Check them Here on Amazon) something that is overrated and laughable. But the reality is, they can stimulate the blood flow which in turn can optimize the muscle.
The effect of that is improved performances and protection during sliding tackles. Combined with that, you will need grip socks.
A good pair of grip socks can improve the overall stability of the feet. And that is important when playing on a wet pitch. Furthermore, the classic shinpads (Check it Here on Amazon) are also an indivisible part of the soccer equipment regardless of the weather conditions.
What do you need to wear to play soccer in the rain?
One of the main mistakes that many soccer players make is underestimating the rain.
Indeed, if you are a professional soccer player, then it is recommended to wear long sleeves. For instance, Tony Adams, the legendary Arsenal captain always made sure that the team is playing in long sleeves during rainy days.
However, if you are just playing for fun or with friends, then a waterproof jacket will do the job. Also, you will need running tights and proper cleats.
The reasoning behind this is based on the fact that rain and wet weather can take its toll on you. After all, you don’t want to get sick.
I also recommend wearing long socks in the rain … You can learn these other benefits of long socks for soccer!
How should you play soccer on a rainy day?
Now, this is the most interesting part. I still remember playing my first official soccer game in rainy weather conditions.
My first contact with the ball was not the greatest, to say the least. Therefore, I will share some tips about how to adapt your game during rain.
1. Adapt your passing game
During rain and wet weather, the state of the pitch affects your passing game. You will have to use more power for passing the ball on the ground.
This is very important because if you do not put more power, the wet pitch will slow down the ball, thus you will give more chances to the opposite team to get the ball for a potential counter attack.
I have seen a few central defenders making that kind of mistakes that have lead to conceding cheap goals.
2. Adapt your defensive and attacking game
As a former right back, I had to do a lot of slide tackles. Also, many coaches will agree that sliding on the wet pitch is the best.
However, it is imperative to properly time your slide tackles. Also, as much as possible, try to avoid doing slide tackles in the box or near the box. This is because the wet pitch can prolong the actual sliding and that may result with a contact that can lead to a penalty.
Unfortunately, I have made slide tackles on a wet pitch near the box that resulted with the striker falling into the box, and next thing I saw was the official pointing to the spot. The chances are, most of the referees will give a penalty.
What aspects of the game do rain impact?
Rain can impact many aspects of the game. First and foremost, the passing game is heavily affected. If you are part of a team that likes to pass the ball, to keep possession, then rain will be a big challenge.
This is especially for teams such as Barcelona or Man. City as they adopt a possession, passing on the ground-based game.
Also, the offensive side of the game is affected. If you try to score with a placed shot on the ground, the ball may be lowered or may stop in a puddle.
Furthermore, a slippery pitch results with players sliding more which often leads into players being sent off. On top of that, rainy days are a nightmare for goalkeepers as the ball is travelling faster.
Also, I have witnessed a back pass to the keeper that stopped halfway from the water on the pitch. The keeper rushed to clear it out, but the striker from the opposite team was on the ball and scored.
Therefore, you will need to adapt. What you can do is try to play with a slightly higher pass from the ground, or put more power when passing the ball.
If you are a defender, try to avoid back passes. Do not charge into slide tackles as it is a risk for a red card, penalty or an injury. And if you are in a scoring opportunity, then place your shots higher. Avoid placing shots on the ground.
How much rain is too much for a soccer game?
How much rains is too much for a soccer game is closely related to several factors …
… Firstly, it depends on the quality of the pitch. Sometimes, heavy rain can be a safety and a hazard concern for the organizers. For example, if there are too many muddy grounds or pools of water on the pitch, then it will be hard for any team to play.
A notable example about too much rain was the cancelled Champions League game between Man. City and Borussia Monchengladbach from 2016 …
… The pitch was soaked and the visibility was poor. Therefore, the UEFA officials made the ultimate decision to stop the game and postpone it for later!
How dangerous is it to play soccer on a rainy day?
Players can get severe injuries due to the poor conditions on the pitch. Another potential hazard is that playing in soaking wet jerseys can decrease your performances. And most importantly, it can increase the potential for injuries.
I am not a medical expert, but what I can tell you is that throughout the years, I have seen many players getting injured. And that is not because they were bad players.
On the contrary, unintentional slips and slides in the rain can cause significant injuries. Another important challenge is that if the rain persists, you may get sick. However, with the proper equipment, you can avoid these potential hazards.
What about soccer in the snow?
The reality is that you can play soccer even in snow. However, you still need to be aware that you will need to consider taking similar precautions.
For more information about this Topic, I highly invite you to have a look at this Soccer Playing Guide in Snow!
Anyway, to be more specific, you will need to adapt your game to the snow. You passing, defending, tackling, attacking and tactical positioning will need to be adjusted to the current weather.
If the pitch is covered with snow, you will also have to anticipate potential injuries.
Most often teams use the red ball when playing in the snow as the white balls can be hard to see. The pitch lines and markings need to clean and visible. Due to poor weather conditions. The prospect of injuries will be always present.
During the game, the pitch may freeze. That is an additional risk that can cause problems for the players.
That is why you will need clear anticipation and preparation for playing soccer in the snow.
Final Thoughts …
Hope this article has given you all the information you need to approach playing soccer in rain the right way!
As you’ve might noticed, I took the time to address many aspects of this topic, not because I wanted to, But rather because I want you to be properly prepared. So you won’t only avoid potential injuries as much as possible during games, but also to be able to play at the maximum of your abilities.
Finally, if you are a soccer fan, than I highly invite you to check those 2 interesting articles: