Why Is Baseball Not Played In The Rain? (Answered!)

For the most part, baseball games are played from spring all the way through to autumn, when the weather is at its nicest.

If you live in a country with a warm climate and a lot of sun, rain may not be a frequent problem.

On the other hand, you may live somewhere where rain is quite a common occurrence. You might even experience rain in the hottest or driest months of the year.

For those who play baseball, rain may be a huge nuisance.

It could be the major cause of games constantly failing to take place and being called off due to the rainy weather.

But why is baseball not played in the rain?

There is a number of different reasons which make it a sport better reserved for drier days.

Let’s look at some of the reasons that can help us answer the question, ‘why is baseball not played in the rain?’

Higher Risk Of Getting Injured

Baseball player batting in the rain
Baseball in the rain by Rhett Hutchins (CC BY 3.0)

One of the biggest factors why baseball is not played in the rain is the risk of a player getting injured.

When it rains, the grass on a baseball outfield will become slippy and there may be little to no friction while running.

As well as that, the ground is porous, and as a result is able to absorb huge amounts of water.

This results in wet sand and dirt, as well as plenty of mud. All these factors increase the chances of a person slipping and falling considerably.

With rain and wetness, the ground becomes uneven, distorted, and there is no good or firm footing.

This not only slows down the pace you are running at, but also slows down the game. It also makes it very easy to fall while running.

Puddles and mud patches give players much less space to run because they can take up a large amount of the ground.

In addition, wet and sloppy earth or mud could even cause a player to get their shoes stuck in it while running.

When a player is catching a fly ball coming from above, this could also cause him to get hit.

The reason for this is because it is harder to see a ball when there is heavy rain pouring down.

Droplets of rain will also get in a player’s eyes, making it even harder to spot an incoming ball.

All of these factors contribute to a higher risk of potential injury for players – a much higher one than in dry weather.

A baseball player may simply obtain a minor cut, scrape, or wound after a fall, but sometimes the results may be more serious.

In some cases, a ball could cause a very hard hit leading to a concussion.

It is also possible for a player to fall and twist their ankle, or break a body part, like a leg or an arm.

Consequently, they won’t be able to play for the rest of the season. This would therefore be a considerable problem for a professional baseball player.

Baseball Becomes Slippery

The slipperiness of the baseball is another factor why baseball is not played in the rain.

When the baseball is slippery, it simply become more difficult to have a good grip on the ball.

This causes a defensive player or a pitcher to lose much control over the ball.

Therefore it can lead to scenarios whether the ball is thrown in the wrong direction rather than the one it was supposed to go in.

On the other hand, the ball could be even be thrown at the batter accidentally.

Such an incident could cause a hard hit to the head and poise a risk of injury.

Wind, Lightning, And Dark Clouds

Storm with lightning over baseball field
Lightning over the ball park by Joe Ross (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Very often, rainfall is accompanied by other weather changes. This includes wind, which can sometimes be very heavy and make it hard to play.

Wind can be a distraction, and make it harder to concentrate on the game. It can be especially frustrating if it is blowing right at you.

As well as that, wind can throw the ball in a completely different direction than it was supposed to go. This makes it much harder to play.

Very heavy gusts of wind can in particular be a problem, as they can even blow the ball away. This results in a ball getting lost, or it ends up in a puddle or mud patch.

Wind even has the potential to throw a ball in the direction of someone. Again, this can hit someone in the head and lead to a potential injury.

In addition, sometimes rain can turn into a storm and this may mean lightning is soon to come.

This situation would be very dangerous, especially if a player is using an aluminum or wood bat which can easily be struck by lightning.

For that reason, sudden rainfall and thunder accompanying it will often indicate that a game will be stopped to avoid harm.

Apart from wind and occasionally lightning, rain will also come with dark cloud coverage. This makes it dark on the pitch and there is little light available.

Therefore, it is harder for players to see, both the ball, the pitch, and where they are going.

Such conditions as these may significantly decrease performance during the game, and end up in unfair results.

Rain Can Damage The Baseball And Make It Heavy

During rainfall, especially heavy downpours, it is not just the ground that will become slippery, wet, and muddy.

A baseball can likewise face the same issues.

As a result of the rain and mud, a baseball could become soaked, dirty, and muddy. Due to the fact that it is saturated with water, the baseball will also become heavy.

The dirty appearance of a baseball makes it more difficult to spot, especially through rain.

This could not only cause it to be more easily lost, but also poses a potential danger to the batter or defensive player.

They could miss catching the ball because they weren’t able to see it properly, and get hit with it.

The heaviness of the baseball which is increased during rain will make it much more difficult to play with.

This may cause hitting the ball hard enough a challenge, and the ball itself will most likely lose its bounce.

A ball that is soaked with rainwater will feel and weigh much different than a normal ball.

In general, playing a game with a heavy ball requires much more effort than with a normal ball.

Infield Can Become Destroyed

Employees pull a plastic tarp over the baseball field while it's raining.
Wrigley Field Rain Delay by Victor Grigas (CC BY-SA 4.0)

If a baseball game is taking place on an infield rather than an outfield, it can get easily destroyed during heavy rainfall.

The infield may become soggy, damaged, and full of puddles.

It is for this reason that a large, plastic tarp is used to cover the whole infield when rain occurs. This protects it from rainfall and potential damage which could occur to it.

As well as that, it is easy to remove after a break in the game due to rainfall.

In this way, the infield won’t get destroyed but there will a possibility of the fane continuing after the rain passes.

Rain Makes The Baseball Bat Slippery

Rain not only makes the ball slippery – it can make the baseball bat slippery too.

This can be a big nuisance while playing baseball, with the bat constantly slipping out of your hands during the game.

This leads to poor performance and a high chance of bad hits. With an additionally soggy and heavy ball, this doubles the chance of hitting the ball with poor efficiency.

Also, a slippery bat could cause you to lose control of the bat and accidentally hit someone with it by accident. This, again, is a risk factor for potential injuries.

Usually, batting gloves would be a better solution for a slippery bat to provide a firmer grip.

However, even they can become wet, soggy, and slippery during rainy weather, just as with the baseball bat.


In conclusion, why is baseball not played in the rain?

Mostly this is because of the higher risk of a player getting injured.

Rain causes destruction of the infield, and the outfield can become wet and slippy.

Injury can result from a number of factors, including tripping and falling, or a player becoming lodged in mud.

Wind and cloud coverage can additionally limit vision, making it hard to see and decreasing game performance.

It can also cause a ball to be thrown in the wrong direction, making it easier to accidentally hit someone.

As well as that, baseball equipment, including the ball and the bat can become slippery. It makes it harder to grip and control.

The ball can also become waterlogged and much heavier, thus making it more difficult to throw and to hit.

Some baseball leagues still consider playing in light rain safe.

However, when heavy rain falls occurs during a match, it usually results in a break until the bad weather conditions pass.

Paul Hall
Paul Hall

Hello, I’m Paul, a 45 year old passionate baseball fan and the owner of this website. I hope my article could help to answer your questions.

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