The first, simple, answer is yes, you can play tennis in rain. If you are passionate about tennis you have seen during your life a lot of matches played in rain, especially when the tournament is played in the United Kingdom, Wimbledon, Queens where the rain is the daily routine at such latitude.
Players can play under rain however doesn’t have to be torrential or heavy rain as this affects many factors as will see below. The fundamental steps to be taken in these situations are to be extremely careful, do not try to slide onto the court, and play carefully, without pushing as much as you would do under normal conditions.
FACTORS AFFECTING PLAYING TENNIS WITH RAIN
First, the main factor we want to take into consideration is the safety of the players.
Playing under the rain, depending on the surface can be very dangerous. On hardcourts for example is not rare to see players slipping even during normal conditions so the rain can affect their stability on the court and will put the players at high risk of injury.
The grass is even more dangerous, have you never tried when you were a kid to walk or even run on wet grass during the rain? Well, if you did you know how easy is to slip if you didn’t don’t try as it’s dangerous and easy to lose balance and fall.
On clay instead, the other surface where tennis is played the dirt can absorb quite fast the rain but here the issue is another one, rain affects the bounce of the tennis ball in addition to the fact that the tennis ball gets wet and while bouncing on the clay doesn’t release water, but it captures, even more, making shots terrible difficult to be taken efficiently.
Tennis Rain Delay Rules
The ATP rules mention that playing in the rain is possible unless the conditions are extreme and it’s subject to the tennis chair judge and the players to declare when the conditions are too dangerous to continue the match.
Sometimes one of the players wants to continue the match and the other one wants to stop. In this case, as it happens as well in other sports, i.e football, the tennis chair judge is the final decider. Those rules WTA also follows the same rules to make both men and women equal in these conditions.
PLAY TENNIS IN THE RAIN FOR BEGINNERS
While it can be a useful exercise for your footwork and balance under the rain it’s extremely dangerous so you might not want to continue too much on this match.
Make sure your shoes are appropriate and take enough time to decide how to hit your shot, have your feet well steady on the ground.
It’s better if you know already the court where you are playing and it’s not the first time so the advantage to know how the specific surface is affected by the rain will play in your favor.
WHAT TO WEAR
If you still decide to go out and play in rain is better to be dressed in a raincoat which can protect you. Add also a visor to be less affected by the pouring rain while you are preparing for your shot.
An item that is essential for your game is tennis shoes. Make sure they have a good grind to the ground, and they are made for slippery surfaces, this can avoid injuries.
The last item, mostly the most important is having a towel with you, useful to dry the racquet and yourself as well, for the light rain situation.
COMMON INJURIES/ POTENTIAL HAZARDS
When playing tennis on slippery surfaces it’s easy to slip while moving around the court. Often, the first cause of injury is a slip on the ground which can cause:
- Ankle sprain
- Wrist sprain (as you might try to land with your arms)
- Knee sprain
- Thigh injury/tear of the muscle
- Back pain due to wrong landing on the slippery ground
While these injuries are also common during normal tennis playing the hazard of having a slippery court under pouring rain increase the possibility to get them by 25%.
Can I play tennis with rain?
Yes you can but you need to take extra safety measures.
How can I avoid injuries during a match under the rain?
Practice stretching before playing and during the break if it’s raining. Be ready when the match restarts in case of break due to heavy rain is mandatory to avoid the risk of injuries.
Are professional tennis players allow to play a match with rain?
Yes unless it’s heavy rain. However the decision involves both players and the tennis judge who has always the final say.
If you don’t have any indoor courts in proximity sometimes there is no other choice, than to play in the pouring rain. In case this happens make sure to be prepared, well trained with the stretching done properly, and your legs and feet ready to work.
If the conditions get worse don’t procrastinate and stop immediately to play and stay somewhere warm around the court for around 20 minutes, sometimes this can allow you to restart to play with better surface conditions.
To resume it with a phrase, if you aren’t a professional and you aren’t playing in a tournament, you can better avoid a match on slippery grass, hardcourt surface while you could continue for a while on clay, with the mentioned issues.