How to Keep a Football Dry in the Rain: Expert Tips for Wet Weather Play

Ever found yourself gearing up for a game of football, only to have the skies open up and rain on your parade? It’s not just a bummer—it can really affect your game. A wet football is harder to grip, catch, and throw, and it can turn your play into a sloppy mess.

But don’t let a little rainwater bench you! With a few clever tricks up your sleeve, you can keep that pigskin dry and your spirits high, no matter the weather. Let’s dive into some handy tips that’ll help you maintain a firm grip and a steady game, even when the rain is hell-bent on playing defense.

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Tip 1: Choose the right football

When you’re prepping for a rainy game day, selecting the proper football can make all the difference. Leather footballs, while ideal in dry conditions, can get downright slippery when wet. They tend to absorb water and become heavy, making catching and throwing a challenge.

On the other hand, synthetic footballs are designed with these situations in mind. They often come with a water-resistant surface and are easier to grip in adverse weather conditions. Your handling won’t be as affected by the rain, and you’ll maintain a level of play closer to what you’re used to in drier conditions.

Consider the following points:

  • Check for footballs specifically labeled weather-proof or all-weather. These are treated to resist water penetration.
  • Before the game, try out multiple footballs to see which feels most comfortable in your hands. Even within synthetic varieties, the grip can differ significantly.
  • For games that are critical, invest in a higher-end synthetic football. These tend to offer the best grip and durability, even when mother nature decides to pour down.

Remember to give your team the opportunity to practise with the selected football during the days leading up to the game. Familiarity breeds confidence, and being comfortable with the ball they’ll be using will help them adapt faster when the rain starts. It’s like having a good pair of all-weather tires on your car; you might not avoid all the puddles, but you’ll certainly handle them better.

Ultimately, your choice in football won’t just be a preventative measure against the elements but a strategic tool that could give your team the upper hand. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll find that a little rain won’t dampen your team’s spirits or their performance on the field.

Tip 2: Apply a waterproofing spray

As a football coach, you know the devil’s in the detail. That’s why waterproofing spray can be a game-changer for keeping your football dry during those wet and wild games. When the sky opens up, you want to be prepared. That’s where applying a waterproofing spray to your football steps in, offering an extra layer of defense against the rain.

You’ll find a variety of waterproofing sprays at your local sports store or online. These sprays create an invisible barrier, repelling water and helping to maintain the ball’s grip and weight. Imagine, your quarterback can still throw with precision even when Mother Nature’s not playing fair.

Here’s how to apply it effectively:

  • Make sure the football is clean and dry before application
  • Spray evenly, covering the entire surface of the ball
  • Allow it to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Reapply as needed before each game

Testing the spray in practice sessions is crucial. It gives you a sense of how the ball will handle during the game. You’ll see firsthand how the once slippery surface becomes more manageable, giving your players the confidence they need.

Remember, not all waterproofing sprays are created equal. Look for sprays that are specifically made for sports equipment. They should provide durability without compromising the integrity of the ball. You may not think much of it now, but you’ll thank yourself when you’re facing down a fourth quarter in a downpour and your team’s grip on the ball is just as solid as it was in the dry.

Keep in mind, the sprays work best when humidity is low. This means you should apply the spray well before game time. By integrating this tip into your pre-game routine, you’re adding another layer of strategy, ensuring that each play is not hampered by the ball turning into a slippery mess.

Maintenance is minimal, but the payoff is immense. A well-applied waterproofing spray could be the slim margin you need for victory against the elements.

Tip 3: Use a towel or cloth

Keeping a football dry during a rainy game isn’t just about the pre-game prep; it’s also about in-game maintenance. That’s why an essential piece of your toolkit should be an absorbent towel or cloth. Along with your waterproofing efforts, you’ll need to wipe down the ball periodically to remove the buildup of water.

Here’s how you can effectively use a towel or cloth during the game:

  • Assign a dedicated person, like an assistant coach or a player not currently on the field, to be in charge of wiping the ball down between plays. They’ve got to be quick and efficient, so the game isn’t held up.
  • Select a highly absorbent towel that can soak up as much water as possible. You might consider using microfiber towels as they are known for their superior absorbency and quick-drying nature.
  • Keep multiple towels handy. Once a towel gets too wet, it won’t be much help. Rotate them out to ensure you’ve always got a dry one ready to use.
  • If the rain’s coming down hard, wring out the used towels during downtime. This can be during timeouts, quarter breaks, or when your team is on defense.

Remember, you’re not trying to keep the ball bone-dry—that’s nearly impossible in the rain—but minimizing the moisture can keep the game moving, maintain a better grip, and prevent waterlogged throws.

In addition to towels, a handheld squeegee could come in handy. Swipe it over the ball for quick water removal without the towel becoming too saturated too quickly. This combo of towel and squeegee could make all the difference in maintaining a playable football.

While you’ve got your waterproofing spray and cloths lined up, don’t overlook the importance of having a strategy for those wet weather games. Each of these small adjustments adds up, helping players keep their grip and focus on the game rather than the elements. Keep these tips in practice sessions too, so your team gets used to the modified routine. They’ll thank you when they pull off that winning play, rain and all.

Tip 4: Keep the ball covered

When you’re in the thick of a drizzly game, protecting the football from the elements is crucial. You’ve got your waterproof spray working overtime, and your towels are at the ready, but keeping the ball covered when not in play can make a significant difference. As a coach, your strategic planning must include ways to shield the ball from the relentless rain whenever possible.

Sideline Strategies

Between plays, make use of ball covers or specially designed wet-weather bags. These protective covers are often overlooked but can be game-changers. Here’s how:

  • Assign a team member to handle ball coverage during stoppages.
  • Rotate footballs in and out of covers to ensure they stay as dry as possible.
  • If you don’t have access to commercial covers, a thick plastic bag can work in a pinch.

Remember, these quick transitions require practice. Run drills that mimic game-day situations where players and staff swiftly cover and uncover the ball. This not only keeps the ball dry but also keeps everyone on their toes, ready for the next play.

Reducing Humidity Impact

Even with the heavens opening up, the ball will get damp, but limit the dampness by storing spare footballs in a dry area. If you’re playing on your home field, consider housing them inside until needed. If such luxury isn’t available, a simple pop-up tent can serve as a makeshift shield.

Consider implementing these steps:

  • Keep a stash of dry footballs under a tent.
  • Swap out the game ball regularly with one from the tent.
  • If tents aren’t an option, find any overhead covering, like a tree or a bench shelter.

On-The-Field Techniques

During the game, encourage players holding the ball to use their bodies as a shield. An instinctive tuck under the arm or covering with the hand during breaks can save precious seconds of exposure. Every little bit helps.

From the fleeting moments the quarterback clutches the football to the time a kicker sets up for a field goal, remind your players to be mindful of the ball’s exposure to rain. Instill the habit of protection every step of the way — every safeguard adds up to maintaining that all-important grip and control over the football.

Tip 5: Dry the ball during breaks

When you’re tackling a wet field, your halftime routine should include one crucial task: drying the football. Remember how you’d slide tackle into puddles for fun during your own muddy matches? Well, that ball needs to be much dryer than your soaked uniforms.

Towel Off Immediately. Keep a stash of microfiber towels on the sidelines. They’re super absorbent and perfect for getting moisture off the ball quickly. Just like you’d dry off before a quick halftime talk, make sure someone’s responsible for drying off the ball.

During those all-important hydration breaks, give the football as much attention as you give your sips of water. A simple wipe down can enhance the grip remarkably for the upcoming plays. Have players who aren’t in the game on standby with towels so they can spring into action the moment gameplay stops.

Rotation Is Key. You’ve mastered squad rotations, now apply the same principle to footballs. Prepare multiple footballs before the game and rotate them in as needed. This way, you always keep a drier ball in play while the others get some towel time.

Lastly, don’t forget the power of the sun, even on cloudy days. If you find a brief moment of sunlight, let the natural heat do its work. Place the ball in a clear spot on the sideline, and those fleeting rays might just cut your drying workload. Less water equals more control and precision, just as you need for that winning drive downfield. Keep those balls as dry as possible, and watch your players hold onto the pigskin as if it’s the golden ticket to victory.


Remember, keeping your football dry in the rain might seem challenging but with the right techniques, it’s definitely doable. By using covers, storing spares in a dry place, and shielding the ball on the field, you’ll maintain better grip and control. Don’t forget to use those breaks to your advantage by drying the ball and rotating in drier ones when possible. With these tips, you’ll keep the game going strong, rain or shine. Now, go out there and enjoy playing, no matter the weather!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I protect a football from rain during a game?

To protect a football from rain during a game, use ball covers or wet-weather bags when the ball is not in play, and store spare footballs in a dry area or under a makeshift shield like a pop-up tent.

What should players do to shield the ball from rain on the field?

Players should use their bodies as a shield to keep the ball protected from the rain while on the field.

Is it useful to dry the football during breaks, and if so, how?

Yes, it’s beneficial to dry the football during breaks to maintain a better grip. Using microfiber towels can effectively remove moisture from the ball’s surface.

Can multiple footballs help in managing wet conditions?

Rotating multiple footballs during play can help immensely as it ensures a drier ball is in use, improving grip and control.

Does sunlight affect the dryness of a football during a rainy game?

Utilizing any available sunlight during breaks can assist in drying the ball, although this may not be a reliable method during consistently rainy conditions.

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