If you are a fan of pickleball like a few other millions around in North America – and a few more across the globe – but live in an area where it pours a lot, the big question is whether pickleball can be played in rain. In this piece below we will look to answer that question assessing the pros and cons associated with both options.
Let’s start off quickly answering the question first.
Can pickleball be played in rain? While one can play pickleball in rain and even adopt a different strategy to practice how to do that, it’s advisable not to do that because of a variety of cons associated with it.
We dig deeper into the pros and cons associated with being on the pickleball court with the overhead conditions being rainy. Let’s start with why we would advise you not to play pickleball in rain, or more pertinently even if you do, what could be the potential challenges around it.
Issues with Playing Pickleball in the Rain
Playing pickleball in the rain isn’t the most pleasant activity but if you must, then please be informed.
There are multiple issues involved with weathering the rain while playing pickleball. Some of them have been enumerated below.
Typically rain brings with a change in the climate. A lowering of temperature.
And unless you are looking to cover yourself from head to toe with a windcheater, there is a good possibility of the cold getting through to you.
Wearing a windcheater while playing pickleball is hardly an option but then again, what does one do to overcome the cold hitting your chest? There is that distinct possibility of the cold and wetness leading to illness.
This is a no-brainer. Playing any sport in the rain can lead to slippage but more so a sport like pickleball where the movements are restricted to a small court area.
There’s also some stopping and sudden movements involved in pickleball, and rain could cause a lack of proper grip with the surface. This could lead to losing balance and slipping on the court, causing injuries like fractures and muscle-related fitness woes.
There is a possibility of reduced sighting of the pickleball while playing in rain especially if it gets cloudier and darker. While this has a direct impact on the quality of the game, it could also lead to eye-related injuries from late sighting of the ball coming at the players.
The best way to overcome this problem otherwise is to use pickleball eyewear, but with rain being a factor, one cannot be sure if sighting the ball would become any better.
Pickleball paddles can get affected by moisture and sustained play in rain could have an adverse effect on your equipment.
According to Selkirk, one of the most famous manufacturers of pickleball equipment, paddles have a honeycomb core which could allow water to seep in and trap inside it and over time cause faster aging of the paddles.
Playing in rain, therefore, becomes a sure-shot way of letting water accumulate in the pickleball paddles, especially if it’s made a regular feature and the damage to the equipment could be long-lasting.
If you are one of those who want your paddle to last long enough, playing pickleball in the rains is not for you.
Effect of Rain on Clay
Paddles could damaged while playing pickleball in rain but there is a bigger risk while doing that on clay court surfaces.
As we all know by now, pickleball can be played on clay but the effects of playing on that surface while it’s raining could impact it negatively.
Clay court surfaces require a bit of moisture and are typically watered before matches but continuous rain could damage them drastically and play could typically be called off as a result.
Look at this as a serious factor before considering the need to play pickleball in rain on clay courts.
How to Play Pickleball in the Rain?
Now that you have seen how difficult things could get if you are looking to play a game of pickleball in the rains, let’s look at what you could do if you do decide to do that.
The biggest challenge here is to avoid playing in the same manner as you would on a non-rainy day.
For starters, avoid running to the kitchen after serving or receiving. Give yourself those extra few seconds, reaching the Non Volley Zone by walking to it rather than rushing towards it.
What this would do is to give you that chance of not slipping in the water. It will also give you a good chance to keep your balance and you would still be able to reach the kitchen in a few quick steps instead of rushing in and running the risk of losing your balance.
This might mean you are hitting a few more balls while in the transition zone (or the no-man’s land) but it would also allow you to take your time and relaxed instead of feeling rushed during a game.
An Alternative to Playing Pickleball in the Rain
The simplest solution to playing pickleball in the rain, especially if it’s difficult for you to find the time of the day when it’s not bucketing down in your area, is to play the sport indoors.
Pickleball is a sport, which, like some of the other racket sports like tennis and badminton, can be played indoors too.
There are some issues associated with playing pickleball indoors but if it’s raining outside then all those pale in comparison to the issues associated with playing pickleball in the rain.
Final Words on Playing Pickleball in the Rain
While pickleball can be played in rain, it is advisable to not make it a habit of it because there are far too many risks associated with it for the players, equipment and at times, for the court itself.