Skip to Content

How to Play Basketball in the Rain

How to Play Basketball in the Rain

How to Play Basketball in the Rain

For us lovers of the game of basketball, playing whether rain or shine seems to be an obvious choice.  For many of us, basketball is a lifestyle, an escape from reality, and a means to blow off stress.  However, playing basketball in the rain is inherently different than playing in the sun.

Below, we will review how to play basketball in the rain.  This overview will also include any items or provisions you should bring with you and some quick hints and tips to help you perform better on the court while it is raining.  Lastly, we will also review the impact that rain has on a basketball and steps you can take to keep your basketball in tip-top shape.

Do Basketball Players Play Basketball in the Rain?

One question that we receive often is whether or not basketball players play basketball in the rain.  And while the answer is yes, it is also a bit more complicated.

For starters, for your average basketball player, specifically those looking to play a quick pick-up game of basketball, playing in the rain is simply part of the game and territory that comes with playing basketball on an outdoor court.

However, for professional basketball players, whether in the NCAA, WNBA, or NBA, playing basketball in the rain is less common. 

While the reasons vary, ultimately many professional basketball athletes simply do not have to subject themselves to rain and the elements due to the fact that they have indoor basketball courts to practice and play on.

Similarly, for many professional basketball players, playing in the rain is not advise.  This is because the rain may cause the court to become a bit more hazardous, which can cause slipping and accidental falls. 

Due to the risk of injury, these professional basketball players may simply opt to not engage in an outdoors game of basketball in the rain.

How to Play Basketball in the Rain

Risks of Playing Basketball in the Rain

While playing basketball in the rain can be a fun, unique, and different play, it is not without its risks.  Playing basketball in the rain is inherently riskier than playing in the sun or on a cool, breezy day.  However, understanding these risks and taking proper precautions beforehand can help you to avoid those risks.

Firstly, by playing basketball in the rain, you risk accidental slips and falls.  Due to the decreased traction on the ground, a player running on the court risks slipping and falling. 

And while most slips and falls are merely a temporary embarrassment, some slips and falls can be more dangerous, leading to broken and fractured bones, concussions, and even death.

In addition to the risk of injury, playing basketball in the rain can be substantially more difficult.  The basketball itself will have less grip and be weighted down due to the absorption of water.  Similarly, the splashing of rain on your clothes and against your face will make taking a shot more difficult to perform.

Lastly, playing basketball in the rain is also inherently dirty.  While you will sweat, the rain, splashing of puddles, and drenched feeling will leave both you and your clothes dirty.  While a simple shower and washing of the clothes will alleviate those feelings, it is something to take into consideration before beginning a game of basketball in the rain.

Steps to Take Before Playing Basketball in the Rain

If you are adamant about playing basketball, whether rain or shine, then there are some steps that you should take before beginning the game.  These steps will not only make the game more enjoyable but will also help you to avoid injury.

  • Invest in Proper Basketball Shoes – as mentioned above, playing basketball in the rain is inherently different than playing in the sun or during a cool, breezy day.  As such, you will want to invest in basketball shoes that are not only able to provide additional traction, but also ones that you can get dirty.  That means skipping out on the latest Nike’s and opting for a slightly cheaper option.
  • Purchase Appropriate Clothes – similarly, and as mentioned above, playing basketball in the rain will cause you to get dirty.  Not only will the rain leave you soaked, but due to the splashes of the puddles on the court, you will find yourself dirtier than normal.  As such, we recommend purchasing clothes which you don’t mind getting dirty.  You can purchase a simple, dry-fit t-shirt and shorts or athletic pants to accommodate your play in the rain.  However, we recommend not wearing clothes made from cotton, as cotton will absorb the water from the rain, making your clothes heavier and stickier. 
  • Use a Less Expensive Basketball – while you will still want to bring a basketball with sufficient grip to the court, you don’t want to bring an expensive one with you while playing basketball in the rain.  This is because the rain and water will be absorbed and soaked by the ball, making it difficult to play with in the future.  Rather, you should purchase a cheaper basketball that can be used outdoors and one that you don’t rely on for daily play.
  • Use Basketball Goggles – lastly, consider investing in and using basketball goggles.  These goggles will not only protect your eyes from injury but will also help to keep the rain and splashes of the water from your eyes.  This will give you a clearer line of sight and help you to perform at your best on the court.
How to Play Basketball in the Rain

Alternatives to Playing Basketball if it is Raining

While playing basketball in the rain can be fun and adventurous, some forms of rain can make it simply impossible to do so.  Rather than risk injury and health, here are some alternatives you can take during the rainy weather to help you increase your basketball skills and IQ.

  • Watch Basketball Tapes – understanding how to play basketball can most easily be learnt by watching others play.  There are a plethora of videos online that will guide you through the fundamentals of playing basketball.  These videos will not only increase your basketball IQ but will also reinforce the fundamentals of the game for you.
  • Increase Your Cardiovascular Endurance – if you happen to have a treadmill at home, then jumping on one can be a great way to increase your cardiovascular endurance.  Some great treadmill workouts for basketball players include the mountain climber, wherein you will set the incline to a max level and the speed to a comfortable 2 miles-per-hour, the calf definer, where you will walk backwards against the belt of the treadmill, and the full-body treadmill workout, where you will walk at a brisk pace while wearing a weighted vest.
  • Take a Break – while many of us believe that basketball requires daily practice, oftentimes taking a day off can be more beneficial.  Not only will you get some much needed rest and relaxation, but you will also give your mind and body time to recover and prepare for the upcoming day.