Pickleball is known as a racket sport which fits any player of any skill levels, that explains why it has been increasingly popular since it was created in 1965. If you have recently taken up this sport and you prefer playing outdoors, you might catch yourself wondering whether you can play pickleball on a wet court. This article is written to give you the answer you are searching for.
A wet pickleball court
Issues With Playing Pickleball In The Rain
Rain is fun, but playing pickleball in the rain doesn’t seem to be a wise choice. Then again, if you don’t have any other option to go for, be sure that you are aware of the following risks. (Well, prepare yourself because there are more than one issue that you are very likely to face in this case.)
- Catching a cold
Though the temperature of raindrops varies from season to season and even day to day, they are always colder than the air surrounding you. In case you don’t know, the infamous Rhinovirus that causes the common cold thrives in the wet and cold weather, which explains why getting soaked in the rain for one or two games of pickleball can give you a real bad cold.
Getting soaked in the rain for one or two games of pickleball can give you a real bad cold
This is obvious. Even walking normally on wet ground can make you fall easily, can you imagine how it would be to run back and forth on a soaked court? Not all the pickleball courts are slip-resistant, so if you are not careful enough, you might slip and hurt yourself badly. But then, how many players can pay their full attention to their movements while following the ball’s flight path?
- Sighting Issues
LED lights on pickleball courts are normally bright enough to illuminate the whole court and allow you to have perfect vision even in the darkest nights; however, it is a totally different story when it rains. Raindrops blur your eyes and thus badly affect your accuracy. It’s hard to hit the ball and direct it where you want it to go if you can’t see it clearly, right? And what is more, your eyes are more vulnerable to infections if raindrops containing bacteria get into them, which means you might have stung, red and even swollen eyes after your games.
- Affecting your accuracy
Raindrops are light in weight, but the pull of gravity makes them way heavier; therefore, they will slow down the speed of your ball significantly. If you don’t strike the ball with more force than usual, it won’t be able to get where you want it to be.
Besides, do you notice that rain usually entails wind? The wind can shift your pickleball’s trajectory, making it a real challenge for you to calculate and direct the ball properly.
- Paddle Damage
Not only are your health and performance possibly influenced negatively, but your beloved paddle is also ‘at risk’ if you keep playing pickleball in the rain. Paddles are not totally waterproof, which means moisture is able to penetrate and gradually destroy them. If you don’t want to buy new paddles very frequently, switch to playing indoors when it rains.
Can you play pickleball on a wet court (in the rain)?
You can, for sure, but from what I have mentioned above, I hope that you will make the right choice when it comes to playing pickleball on a wet court. Personally, it is a big “NO” for me, though I do love the rain.
When is it okay to play pickleball on a wet court?
Obviously, I would say that you should play pickleball when it stops raining. The court would be still damp, but at least there wouldn’t be any infection-related problems and your performance wouldn’t be remarkably influenced. However, you won’t want to get any injuries, so watch your step when moving on a slippery court.
That said, if you are someone who loves challenges and wants to practice in difficult situations in order to boost your skills and accuracy, the choice is yours.
Playing with protective equipment
You will not want to trade off your safety for a game of pickleball, so it is advisable to wear protective gears when you play on a wet court. A helmet, a pair of slip-resistant tennis shoes, knee and elbow pads as well as protective goggles are essential. Even with all the safety equipment, you still have to be extremely careful because, as they say, better safe than sorry.
It is advisable to wear protective gears when you play on a wet court
An Alternative to Playing the Pickleball in the Rain
Playing pickleball indoors is always a good alternative for you when it rains outside. There is no need to wear tons of protective stuff, no need to be worried about slippery surfaces and eye-related problems, your accuracy would remain intact and your paddle would be kept unharmed.
However, there are some differences between indoor and outdoor balls that you would like to know before playing pickleball inside. Read this following article for more information:
How Many Holes In An Indoor Pickleball? – Are They Valuable?
When you should never play on a wet court?
If you are in your fifties or older, playing any kind of sports on a wet court is NOT for you because it is a real danger. Younger bodies will heal more easily and quickly after falling or getting hurt because their muscles are more flexible and their bones are stronger. An injury might be minor to young people, but could be fatal to a senior. So, never risk your life over a game of pickleball on a wet court!
If you are in your fifties or older, you should not risk your safety to play on wet courts
Can You Play Pickleball In The Wind?
The answer is NO. You should not. As I mentioned earlier, the wind, be it strong or light, will surely change the ball’s trajectory unpredictably, which negatively affects your calculation and thus, your performance.
Is Pickleball For Older Adults?
Yes, pickleball is for any person of any age. As long as you can control a paddle and move freely on a court, you can play pickleball.
Can You Play Pickleball In Cold Weather?
Why not? If you keep yourself warm enough and have proper gears, you can play pickleball even on an icy court in the middle of the winter. It would be a whole new exciting experience to move like an ice-skater in a pickleball game.
Icy pickleball court
All in all, playing pickleball on a wet court (in the rain) is totally possible, but you will not want to do it regularly. If it rains, it would be better for you to reschedule your game to a sunny and calm day. In case the rain has gone and left the court damp or soaked, try to find a dryer court nearby or even switch to play indoors. If the date and place of your game cannot be changed because of some particular reason, make sure to bring all protective equipment along with you before you go for the game.
>>See more: Can I Play Pickleball With A Torn Meniscus?