Are Soccer Games Canceled For Rain? (Shocking Conditions)

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Nature shows its beauty in many ways, and rain is one of them, but sometimes the beauty causes disruption in our lives. What happens with soccer when it comes to heavy rain?

Soccer is mainly an outdoor game; like all other outdoor games, it can be affected by rain.

That does not always lead to the game being canceled or called off like other outdoor games such as baseball, golf, tennis, and cricket.

A flooded soccer field after heavy rain in Queensland Australia ○ Soccer Blade

Are Soccer Games Canceled For Rain?

Soccer games will continue if it starts to rain before or during a game. The officials will monitor the rain to determine if it’s practical to play and safe for the players.

Soccer games will be canceled if the rainfall is so heavy that it restricts the players’ vision. Or the field becomes waterlogged and makes it dangerous.

After a period of stoppage, the officials will determine the conditions with tests using the ball while the players wait off the field.

Like rain, there are many other natural calamities like heavy snowfall, extreme heat, and extreme rainfalls.

There are certain conditions of this weather when the officials can call off a game.

Kids playing soccer on rain soaked mud (are soccer games canceled for rain?)
Kids having fun playing soccer in the rain.

Normally, soccer is an outdoor game, though some small formats of this game are played indoors; mostly, it’s an outdoor open-field game.

The weather conditions for soccer mainly don’t change the schedule of the games or for them to be canceled.

In most bizarre weather like heavy rain, extreme heat, or bad weather, the game is continued to be played, but there are some exceptions to the game when there are unavoidable situations.

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What happens if it rains during a soccer game?

Games can be stopped periodically to see if the rain lessens. A game has been delayed for over 3 hours to allow for the rainfall to reduce in the MLS.

Games are stopped for some time to eventually restart play, e.g., fog, heavy rain, thunderstorm, or serious injury.

It’s up to the judgment of the game official to decide if the conditions are suitable for a game of soccer.

The ball will be rolled along the turf to see if it’s moving freely without being restricted by a waterlogged field.

The rain will normally affect the turf before anything else. They’re expected to play on if the rainfall is heavy and going in the player’s eyes.

The Catalans were the favorite to win the game but were forced to travel by bus when the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland grounded flights throughout Europe.

This sudden event took a toll on the Barcelona team, which led them to lose the game 3-1 at San Siro.

Flooding in artificial grass soccer field. After heavy rain. ○ Soccer Blade

Will the style of soccer play be changed due to rain?

Normal rain will not affect the game apart from the passing types due to the ball sliding. Sometimes the ball crossed with a fast pace into the box can cause opposition problems. Rain changes the ball bounce, so you’ll need to adjust your timing.

What happens if a soccer match is abandoned due to rain?

Only in extreme conditions are games canceled for rain. After the official has tested the field of play to determine the playability of the surface, they will decide to cancel the game if the ball cannot roll freely on the ground.

  • For youth levels and non-professional teams, the games are more likely to be called off because of the rain.

The professional fields are designed to take large amounts of rainfall, and the field is normally protected somewhat by the stadium, reducing the wind.

Football Matches With Impossible & Crazy Weather
The rain on this turf would have stopped any pro game.

Soccer Field Problems and Rain

In Association Soccer, a waterlogged field can make a soccer game impossible. The ball cannot roll freely for the players to play a normal game.

In these kinds of severe situations, there’s also a high risk of injury and complete damage to the field.

Scenarios like this most often happen when it rains for a few days, during a flood, or because of a bad drainage system.

  • Secondly, if there’s a chance of thunderstorms and lightning in the area, the game is called off because it concerns the security of both players and spectators.
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In North America, there’s a nonprofit organization known as NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) that has a law;

If any field official detects lightning then a 30 – min delay can be called and if the situation does not improve for a considerable amount of time then rainout or the game is stopped for the weather can be called out.

Wembley stadium with heavy rain
Wembley stadium with heavy rain

Weather Problems in Soccer

We’ve often seen soccer games played in rainfall or other weather conditions in international and domestic soccer league games.

Throughout the history of soccer, we can see some of the big games with high voltage that were also called off due to extreme weather conditions.

One game that can be highlighted is during the 1999-00 season. Juventus played against Perugia, although the playing conditions on the field were bad.

Juventus lost the game by an own goal by Steve Slutz and, in the end, lost the Scudetto (league title) to Lazio.

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Rain Cancelled Soccer Games

Even in modern-day soccer, we have seen games being postponed, such as in 2012, both in SFL and Seria A.

High-voltage soccer games were canceled and postponed due to bad weather and heavy snowfall, making the field unplayable.

In 2011 Juventus and Naples games were also canceled due to the flood.

Even in France, an important game between PSG and Brest was canceled due to bad weather conditions.

As mentioned earlier, lightning and thunderstorm are vital reasons in soccer for a game to be canceled.

One main example was the A-league game in Australia, where Brett Emerton’s much-anticipated game against Perth Glory was postponed after his hometown side could not travel to Sydney in December 2011.

Flooded soccer field with goal fallen. ○ Soccer Blade

Thunder and Lightening and soccer games

Thunder and lightning storms in Australia’s west prevented flights from taking off in Perth.

There are also incidents of an international game being canceled, and one of the examples is the game between Poland and England.

It was a world cup qualifier game, and it was canceled for the unplayable conditions of the field.

In a very rare condition of a game to be canceled due to extreme heat was the game between Perth Glory and Melbourne FC.


There’s also another surprising natural phenomenon which is the volcano eruption that played a hand in a soccer game that was in between Barcelona and Inter Milan.

Can soccer players Train in the rain?

Many managers, coaches, and players have different rules for practicing soccer in different conditions.

When we see that a team plays an away team, such as in the champions league, the team takes some time to understand what to practice to get the best out of that away game.

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Conditions of the weather influence the team’s choice of style of play and tactics.

We have seen that when a team plays an away game in Russia, they always need to consider the icy Russian conditions.

In Middle East soccer, weather plays a vital role in the player’s fitness. Heat exhaustion can play a major factor in peak performance.

Sometimes practices also are called off, just like the regular soccer games, if the conditions are not favorable, especially when it comes to outdoor practice.

When to cancel soccer practice?

Cancel soccer practice if the conditions make it dangerous for the players.

This can be due to the rain restricting vision or the field becoming waterlogged.

Try and play if possible, as it will prepare the players and strengthen them mentally.

soccer game with heavy rain
A soccer game with heavy rain.

Playing Soccer in Heavy Weather

We have seen that in some cases, soccer games, even practice, and friendly games, can be canceled due to the weather impacts.

Soccer is still one of the games, even played in heavy weather conditions if the officials think it’s playable.

That’s why we’ve seen all over the world soccer being played from snowy weather to rainy, muddy weather conditions.

But I think it’s always safe for players and spectators to play the game in better condition. A weather forecast can prepare the players and fans before a game happens.

Heavy weather and the physical demands

Last but not least, soccer is a heavy-duty physical game that tests the players on how much they can always adapt to the game condition.

A player’s psychology and game plan have to differ from time to time, considering the field condition. You have to push a little differently when it’s a wet field.

Even to make a pass or in a muddy field, your shot has to be lifted from the ground so that the ball has perfect momentum.

But no matter what condition it’s, the game is always exciting.

8e83cfb63d54c9260fa694b185c6bca8?s=150&d=mp&r=g ○ Soccer Blade
Soccer Analyst and Publisher at Soccer Blade | Soccer Blade

Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.

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Soccer Rules FAQ

How long is a soccer game?

Soccer games include two 45 minute halves, which is 90 minutes of play. Those who have ever watched a game know that, like many sports, real-time is longer than the match time.
In real-time, the length of a soccer game varies immensely. At the bare minimum, it will be 90 minutes of play + 15 minutes of halftime for a total of 105 minutes.

What is offside in soccer?

The offside rule in soccer is to stop player ‘goal hanging’ – standing near the opposition goal. This also stops soccer from being a long ball game, balls hit from one goal to another.

What are yellow card offenses?

+ Charging an opponent – caution if reckless.
+ Holding an opponent – When the ball is in play and the holding continues.
+ Handling the Ball – When a player handles the ball to break up attacking play. If an attacker + uses their hand to attempt to score a goal.
+ Dangerous play – If a player makes an action that can risk an injury to another player.
+ Impeding the progress of an opponent – If a player holds another player back or blocks a player on purpose, that prevents an attack.
+ Breaking up an attack - where there is the possibility of creating a scoring chance.
+ Simulation - where a player tries to con a referee into thinking that they are injured in order to punish the opponent. If a player tries to make out that they have been fouled.

What are the red card offenses?

+ Serious foul play
+ Violent conduct
+ Spitting at a person
+ Deliberate handball – denying a goal-scoring opportunity
+ Denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity
+ Offensive, aggressive, abusive language or gesture
+ Receiving a second caution

Soccer field size, size of goal, number of players and minutes played per age;

+ u17-u19 - Halves 2 x 45 minutes - Number of players 11 vs 11 - Goal Size 8 x 24 - Field size 50-100 by 100-130 yards
+ u15-u16 - Halves 2 x 40 minutes - Number of players 11 vs 11 - Goal Size 8 x 24 - Field size 50- 100 by 100-130 yards
+ u13-u14 - Halves 2 x 35 minutes - Number of players 11 vs 11 - Goal Size 8 x 24 - Field size 50-10 by 100-130 yards
+ u11-u12 - Halves 2 x 30 minutes - Number of players 9 vs 9 - Goal Size 7 x 21 - Field size 45-70 by 70-80 yards
+ u9-u10 - Halves 2 x 25 minutes - Number of players 7 vs 7 - Goal Size 6 x 18.5 - Field size 35-45 by 55-65 yards
+ u6-u8 - Quarters 4 x 10 minutes - Number of players 4 vs 4 - 4 x 6 Goal Size - Field size 15-25 by 25-35 yards

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