Can Kids Play Soccer in The Rain

Soccer ball in rain puddleIs soccer in the rain okay for kids?

Playing soccer in the great outdoors has many advantages, but the question at hand is if the kids can play soccer in the rain. Certainly, soccer balls can get wet and will hold up fine to be played with, but what about the rules and safety of kids playing soccer in bad weather.

Yes, kids can play soccer in the rain and cold. Soccer is an outdoor sport and soccer players have fun learning how to play under adverse weather conditions. Bad weather does not automatically mean games will be cancelled. Provided it's done in a safe way and there are not specific rules against it in the bylaws of the local soccer league. 

Of course, in the presence of thunder or lightning, all players, coaches, parents, and spectators should get off the soccer field as soon as possible.

Soccer Safety In The Rain

Every caring parent wants to know if it's safe for kids to play soccer in the rain. Let's face it soccer has risks of injury on both dry and rainy fields. It's a personal decision parents make on how much risk they're willing to take.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of kids suffer an injury playing soccer. A smalls percentage of those injuries occur on wet soccer fields and a rain-drenched soccer field will add some degree of risk. That risk also exists if your kids are playing a rigorous game of tag in the back yard when the grass is wet.

Particularly with the very youngest of soccer players, there is little added danger of injury from playing soccer on a rainy day. As kids grow in size, strength and speed, the risk increases.

There are two things we can do to decrease the chance of injury of kids playing soccer in the rain.

1.CLEATS.  Cleated soccer shoes should be worn when playing soccer on a slippery turf. They will reduce the likelihood of injury because they'll cut down on the amount of slipping as the kids run and change direction during practice or a match

2. BALLS.  Soccer balls that are made out of the synthetic polycarbonates and don't absorb any water should be used for playing soccer under wet conditions. Genuine leather soccer balls can retain the water from the rain, get heavier, and increase the likelihood of injury.

If It Rains During a Soccer Game

The weather can change fast and forecasts can be wrong. You can start a match when weather conditions are favorable, but be interrupted by a downpour quickly. What happens if it begins raining during a soccer match or practice?

Most referees won't stop a soccer match if it starts to rain unless he or she deems it dangerous. Heavy rain can cause the field to get very sloppy and slippery. There is an increase of injury grass or dirt becomes overly slick.

Is Rainy Soccer Fun For Kids

Unless it's a cold wind-driven rain, kids have a blast playing soccer in the rain. Most kids don't mind getting wet at all, especially if it's a warm rain.  It's often exciting for the children because it's a new type of soccer experience. Check out this short video clip of these young soccer players enjoying the unique experience of a rainy soccer game.

The game of soccer changes a lot when played in heavy rain

As a coach, I made the decision to go forward with a practice soccer scrimmage during a torrential downpour one afternoon. There was no wind, no thunder or lightning, but the practice field got soggy.

Several of the parents were not happy with me at the time, but my u-12 boys team had an incredible time. It was a fun change of pace that built some team spirit because it was a unique event that they all shared going through together.

Rainy Day Kids Soccer Practices

There are several alternatives you can do for practicing when the outdoor session has been cancelled to to rain

READ. Read a soccer book. There are many soccer books for kids that either teach the kids something specific about soccer or teach a life lesson that can be applied to soccer.

FITNESS TRAINING. Indoor exercises can be accomplished in a lot of creative and fun ways for kids. When it comes to aerobic and strength training, you can employ activates that are both physical and fun that will aid in the development of soccer strength and stamina.

INDOOR VENUES. Whether it's the church basement, the firehouse social hall, the middle school cafeteria, or a indoor soccer arena, it's beneficial to have a backup plan in place. This may involve the use of a different kind of soccer ball that's safe and more aligned with the restrictions of practicing soccer in a smaller confined space.

Rain Protection For Soccer Games

Whether your soccer player needs a little rain protection during play or you need protection because you're a dedicated supporter even in bad weather, there are a lot of rainy day essentials in the marketplace.

Here is a list of rain gear that works for your kids soccer playing in the rain:

Rain protection podPop Up Rain Shelter

INSTANT POP UP SHELTER. I put the ultimate rain protection for soccer games first. Once you're inside one of these shelter you don't need any of the other rain protection. Great for staying warmer on cold and windy days. They also come larger for multi-person use.

UMBRELLA. This is the Captain Obvious item. Make sure you leave one in your car at all times. Make sure it's big enough to shield the rain for you and your chair.

PONCHO. It's gotta have a hood that fits over a hat and ideally should be long enough to cover your legs. Ponchos are super easy to pack anywhere because they fold up so efficiently small. Ponchos can be worn by the kids on the soccer field too.

HAT. A hat with a brim in the front will give you added protection from rain pelting you in the face.

SHOES. Unless you're snug inside a shelter, your feet will be exposed to the rain. Anything waterproof works here with a preference for boots so that your ankles stay dry to.

TOWELL. When the game is over, it's likely you'll need a little help drying off somewhat before you get back into your soccer SUV.

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Closing Thoughts on Kids Playing Soccer in The Rain

There is a wide range of opinions on the decision of whether to play soccer in bad weather. I've got a cute little story to share with you. I think you'll find it a little bit funny, but it also illustrates what I mean.

This is a contrast in views I came across when I ran a Soccer Shots Franchise, a soccer programs for 2 thru 8 year old kids.  Different territory owners got to share stories and photos with other owners to inspire and educated others on happenings within the system.  Here are the two contrasting situations.

BUFFALO, NY. The Buffalo territory owner shared a photo of  their session with preschool-aged soccer players having a blast playing soccer in the snow. No complaints were expressed by the Buffalo parents. Some towns only cancel soccer for bitter cold, driving wind storms, or heavy precipitation.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. The almost-always-sunny territory owner posted a notification that parents were concerned there might be a few rain sprinkles and wanted to make sure their kids' soccer sessions would be cancelled. Some towns cancel their soccer at the first sign of a little drizzle. 

No disrespect is intended of either group, just an illustration of the variations in opinions on whether kids should play soccer in the rain or other inclement weather.

Soccer is a game that is generally played in almost all kinds of weather including rain. Postponements are  appropriate if there's any danger to the kids, spectators, coaches, and officials, or if there is a concern the soccer fields will be damaged.

I hope you found this article helpful. Stay inspired and help a child.

Coach Bruce Signature

Soccer coach Bruce Lovelace started playing soccer in 1974 when, as a young boy, he constructed his own makeshift soccer goal. He played in high school, then in college and beyond. He started to coach his own children in the 1990s and then ran a Soccer Shots franchise for 12 years. Now, Coach Bruce publishes the website.  Find out more about youth soccer coach Bruce Lovelace  and what inspires this website.

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