Skip to Content

Can You Play Pickleball in the Rain?

Wet pickleball court on dawn.

To answer your question; yes, pickleball can be played in the rain, however, many experts advise against it because it can lead to serious injuries, and affect the entire game. You should keep in mind that pickleball is a game that requires fast movements as you hit the ball back and forth when running around the court, swinging the racket, and making the ball bounce.

You may slip and fall while making these movements in the rain and this could lead to serious head injury, body injury, etc. So, experts advise playing the game outdoors when the weather is fair.

Related To: Can Pickleball Be Played on Concrete? | Can You Play Pickleball on a Grass Court?

Issues Associated with Playing Pickleball in The Rain

While pickleball is a fun and friendly sport, people shouldn’t take protecting themselves lightly when playing the game. Serious injuries should be avoided by all means possible. Several problems can arise from playing pickleball sport in the rain. We have done deep research into the matter and here are the common disadvantages listed below:

1. Players might slip and fall while playing in the rain

This is not something new. Playing any sports in the rain can lead to slippage, but even more so with pickleball, a sport that restricts movements to a small court area and also requires sudden stops when moving. The rain can make the player slip and lose control due to a lack of proper grip on the floor surface. Slipping can cause injuries such as fractures and muscle-related discomfort.

This is one of the main reasons why experts advise against playing any type of sport in the rain without any sort of protection, and the pickleball game does not require players to wear any sort of protection when playing. Therefore, avoiding playing the sport in the rain is the only way pickleball players can remain safe from injuries.

2. Players might face sight issues

An athlete with cap showering on the rain.

Another disadvantage of playing pickleball in the rain is dealing with sight problems. As it gets cloudier or darker, players will not be able to see properly, and this will affect the overall quality of the game and could also lead to eye-related injuries from a late sighting of the ball coming to and from one player to another.

Even though pickleball players don’t need to wear safety glasses, in such cases players could avoid having sight issues by wearing the glasses.  However, with the rain, the situation might not get any better, and the game would still not be 100% safe to play.

3. Players might have to endure the cold

A person with gloves playing on the snow.

Rainy weather is usually accompanied by a sudden drop in temperature. If the players do not cover themselves up with a windcheater from head to toe, the cold might get through to them. However, wearing any sort of windcheater while playing the pickleball sport isn’t advised. Players may get uncomfortable with all the covering and not play effectively as intended.

Pickleball Master Course by Steve Dawson ($199)

Players might move slowly and, miss the ball due to wearing the windcheater. So, wearing the windcheater simply isn’t ideal for the sport, but then there’s no other way to protect yourself from the cold hitting your chest, and if you don’t, the cold and rain may lead to illness.

4. The rain might damage the paddle

Pickleball paddles are made from material that may be affected by the moisture sustained while playing in the rain. This moisture may lead to adverse effects on your overall pickleball equipment.

According to pickleball equipment manufacturers, most pickleball paddles consist of a honeycomb core that could allow water to seep in and be trapped. This could lead to the paddles aging faster and getting damaged.

Playing the sport in the rain is one sure way of letting water seep into the pickleball paddles, especially when you do it regularly. Your pickleball equipment definitely won’t last long and you might have to invest more money into buying new equipment.

If you don’t see yourself spending more money on something you already have, and you want your paddles to last longer as they are designed to, you should definitely avoid playing the game in the rain.

5. Effect of Rain on Clay

A wet tennis court because of rainfall.

Yes, pickleball paddles can get damaged when playing the sport in the rain, however, there’s a bigger risk when playing on clay court surfaces. Pickleball is sometimes played on the clay surface and needless to say, the effects of playing on such a surface when it’s raining are adverse.

Clay surfaces are watered before playing the sport, just to give them a little bit of moisture and give players proper movement when playing. But continuous rain can make the clay surface hard to play on, and the entire play could actually be called off as a result.

This should be a factor to look into before playing pickleball in the rain, especially for those who play the sport not just for fun but as a serious competition.

How does the rain affect the overall pickleball game?

An old man playing pickleball outdoor.

Most sports are played on even ground so that it’s easy to determine the quality of the plays. Rain affects the pickleball game more than you expect, it’s not all about failing to keep your balance and sighting issues, but involves your racket, the ball used, and how the rain will affect your overall ability to play the game effectively.

The rain may cause resistance to your swings and cause them to slow down, making it difficult to swing effectively and hit the ball hard.  The movement of the ball will also be affected by the rain, as contact with rain may cause it to change its traveling path. The rain could also angle into a player’s eye, making the game unfair for the other player.

Playing pickleball sport in the rain has many disadvantages, even though some people still insist on doing so because pickleball is fun and most people think it should be enjoyed at any time.

If you have an important match on a specific day and it ends up raining before you can play, the best thing to do is try and reschedule it. Try to find a time and date when the weather conditions will be better and favorable for you without the risk of injury or other problems you might face while playing in the rain.

If it starts raining while you’re in the middle of the game, the best thing to do would be to take note of the scores and continue to play later on when the rain stops. If stopping is not an option for both teams or players then finding an indoor space to continue with the game is another option.

How to Play Pickleball Sport Effectively in the Rain?

An old man trying to hit the ball on air.

Now that you know the challenges you might face when playing pickleball in the rain, let’s take a look at what you could do to continue playing the game regardless of the weather. Firstly, you could try and play the game, just not in the exact same way you do when it’s not raining.

As you play in the rain, try to avoid running after tossing or receiving the ball, instead try walking to it rather than rushing to it. This could help you avoid slipping and other injuries mentioned above.

Walking instead of rushing while playing will enable you to keep your balance and you will still be able to reach the kitchen just by doing a few quick steps. The trick here is to reduce your movements so that you avoid the risks of falling.

This means both players will hit a few balls while in the transition zone while allowing you to take your time. To avoid being affected by the wind when playing on the spot, you can try wearing something warmer but not heavy. To protect your eyes and have proper sight of the ball, make sure to wear safety glasses.

An Alternative to Playing the Pickleball Sport in the Rain

Playing pickleball sport in the rain is highly unadvisable, it will do you more bad than good. So, what can you do if you have an important match and it starts raining? As mentioned above, you can try rescheduling, but if that is not an option for you, you can try to play the sport indoors.

Pickleball is similar to other racket sports such as tennis, etc. and this means it can be played effectively indoors too. There may be issues associated with the sport indoors, but all those are nothing when compared with the disadvantages of playing in the rain.

About Pickleball

A vector of happy community playing pickleball.

Pickleball as a sport combines many elements of badminton, ping-pong, and tennis in the sense that two or more players hit a plastic ball with a paddle over a 36-inch-high net. The sport was invented in 1965 in Washington, and over the past years, the game has been evolving and is now a popular sport throughout the United States, Canada, and other countries.

Pickleball is enjoyed both as a hobby and as a competitive sport, and the best part is that it can be played both outdoors and indoors.