It gets cold in the fall and winter, is it too cold to play soccer or is soccer a fall and winter sport? I often think so when the season comes around, but once I start playing, after five minutes I don’t notice the cold, but some conditions are too extreme.
Is soccer a fall and winter sport?
The fall brings winds, rain, and snow. It’s not the same as summer playing soccer, although there are some advantages playing in these seasons. The temperature in the height of the summer months can be too much, especially in the direct sun. Soccer is played during the winter in the UK, it gets cold there too.
During the colder months, we can get lazier, so if it is possible to play some sports, then why not?
The MLS season begins in March, the playoffs are in October and the finale is in November. So here in the US, the professionals play soccer in the fall. Then in other sports like football, that is being played until early January.
The competition for TV viewing and the following that football has, maybe a reason for the soccer season not to clash by competing in the same months.
European Football Season
They have some pretty harsh winters there, but most of the higher league divisions have underground heating, for their turf not to get frozen. Another popular league is La Liga in Spain – they do have winter break but the reason is to give their players a rest for a few weeks during the middle of the season.
For the non-professional and youth leagues in the UK, during the winter, many games are called off and they are rescheduled in the spring. There is a demand now for all-weather pitches to continue playing.
Can I play on Icy Turf?
When the frost hits the ground, the ground turns to rock. It is, of course, possible to play, but it is dangerous and not advised. Normally in soccer, there will be times when a player falls down as it is a contact sport -the impact of a frozen pitch is tough and can cause many injuries.
Some players enjoy a sliding tackle, but this is a definite no-no with a frozen pitch.
The cleats that soccer players use have studs on them and they are designed to stick into the soil for grip. If the soil is too hard for the studs to sink into, it can be like going on an ice rink with sneakers on.
Soccer Surface Options
As we have looked at, if the soil is frozen, then it is too dangerous to play. In the fall and winter, the rainfall is much higher, this can cause many pitches to be waterlogged. This is another reason to avoid the turf during these seasons – a ball does not travel well along a flood plain.
A hard court that is indoors can be good to play on. When outside, you will face the slippery dangers. If there is heavy rainfall, you need the right footwear, even then it can be slippy.
When freezing, then any moisture that gets on the pitch can make it like an ice rink. So to enjoy your game, an indoor hard court is good, although there is a better option.
Artificial Grass – Astroturf
By far the best option of the three playing surfaces during the winter is artificial grass. There are three different options, 2G, 3G, and 4G. For these pitches, soccer cleats that are worn on grass pitches are not suitable – they can cause an injury to the ankle very easily. Special artificial/astroturf boots are available.
2G has a slight height of artificial grass which is similar to that of a tennis ball. Because of the short strands, it does not take long for the grass to flattened. This type of pitch can also be very slippy in the winter.
3G has substantially great depth in length to the artificial grass, making it more like turf. Across most of these types of pitches are rubber pellets, which keep the longevity of the grass and give if soft spongy feel to the feet. The 3G pitch is also suitable to play on during the winter months, even when it is icy or snowing.
4G is similar to 3G but with artificial grass blades that are longer and this can be very similar to playing on real grass.
Is soccer a Fall and Winter Sport? Advantages
Soccer is a physical game and there is a lot of running to do. The coolness of the winter cools the players down quickly, so there is no danger of overheating. The chance of dehydration is minimal during these months and less water is needed to be drunk.
There are fewer options for sports to be played in the fall and winter, so soccer can be a great hobby for those with great interest during these quieter months.
Is soccer a Fall and Winter Sport? Disadvantages
If you play on the wrong surface as we looked at, there can be a real danger of injuring yourself or an opponent. If you don’t have the right cleats on or you play on a dangerous surface, an injury can quite easily occur.
Players are more prone to injuries during the colder months, as people are less inclined to do a proper warm-up so that the muscles are stretched – which is the main reason for an injury.
Playing Soccer: Fall and Winter
If there is a field near you, that has a 3G or 4G pitch, it is more than adequate to play soccer there in the fall and winter. Ideally, if you have a sports center where you can play it indoors – be sure to wear the right kind of cleats for it. Playing soccer outdoors can be free, so there can be more of a cost to playing in these seasons, but it is worth it.
From September to November and from March till May.
Soccer for the professionals in the States is not played in the winter but it is possible to play on the right surfaces with the correct cleats.
I’ve played soccer across the U.S.A, Europe and I’ve coached many teams. Soccer is life for me, and with my experience in the game, I want to share my insights into the beautiful game with you.
Joel Powel – Soccer Blade