Precautions When Playing Football in Rainy Weather

In May 2008, the 2008 Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea was held in heavy rain. The match ended 1-1 at normal time and did not change in overtime. Manchester United then came out as champions after winning in the penalty shootout with a score of 6-5.

There is one incident that is always remembered and became the subject of ridicule to Chelsea fans during the penalty shootout in this match. When the fifth kick, Chelsea captain, John Terry can actually determine Chelsea’s victory. However, he actually slipped while kicking and made his shot just wide of the goal.

Heavy rain and wet fields were one of the things that made Chelsea fail to win the Champions League title that night. Apart from the possibility of other factors such as match pressure which made Terry fail to execute his shot perfectly, the heavy rain that made the wet field certainly contributed to Chelsea’s failure.

As a sport that is carried out in an open area, bad weather can indeed affect the course of football matches. In a way, heavy rain can affect the course of the match or even determine the outcome of the match. It is not uncommon for football matches to be postponed or suspended due to heavy rain in the stadium area where the match takes place.

Not only does it cause the surface of the field to become slippery, the ball flow is not running properly, the physiological adaptation of players to rain also changes. In the International Journal of Sports Medicine in 2013, it was explained that rain lowers body and skin temperature. Apart from that, rain also increases the consumption of air and oxygen that athletes breathe during physical activity. That is, rain indicates an increase in physical load on the match

What should be considered when playing in the rain?

Heating is something that must be considered when playing in rainy or cold temperatures. According to Dr. Timothy Miller who is a Specialist in Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery said that warm-up time should be increased even for athletes who only compete in seconds. Dr. Miller also suggested that athletes make reservations or stretching indoors. Because when athletes have to do stretching where there is a little static condition there, the rain will again lower the athlete’s body temperature so that the heating is not optimal

Maintaining body fluids is the second thing that players must pay attention to in rainy or cold conditions. According to research by Robert W. Kenefick (et al., 2004), it is said that cold conditions reduce the sensation of thirst by up to 40%. As a result, players sometimes forget to drink drinking water in the middle of a match or training. In fact, even though rain decreases the amount of sweat, athletes will continue to experience decreased body fluids from breathing. In fact, just 2% of the body’s loss of fluids will reduce football performance abilities such as the ability to sprint and dribble ability

Competing in rainy conditions, players must also re-warm up in the middle of the break between rounds. In the Journal of Sports Medicine, it is explained that the application of just 5 minutes of explosive activities such as sprinting or jumping after the second half has been shown to increase power compared to just 15 minutes of passive rest (second half pause)

The choice of shoe type should also be a concern. Rain makes the surface of the court softer, if the players use the same shoes it will result in decreased traction to the playing field and players will often slip. When it rains, it is recommended to choose shoes with fewer, longer, studs made of metal. In the Journal Plos One, which examined the rotational traction ability of several models of soccer shoes, the conclusion was that the shoe (Tiempo SG) which had a slightly longer, slightly longer stud made of metal showed a higher rotational traction rate than other shoe models.

In terms of the clothes the players wear, the rain will certainly increase the load due to the water being absorbed by the clothes. However, technological developments have more or less minimized this. With polyester which is currently used as a football jersey, the jersey’s weight only increases 0.4% of its original weight when used in the rain. This change in weight is considered not to interfere with player performance on the field. It’s just that players still have to replace their jersey with a new jersey that is still dry at halftime to keep the body warm in the rain.

In terms of the clothes the players wear, the rain will certainly increase the load due to the water being absorbed by the clothes. However, technological developments have more or less minimized this. With polyester which is currently used as a football jersey, the jersey’s weight only increases 0.4% of its original weight when used in the rain. This change in weight is considered not to interfere with player performance on the field. It’s just that players still have to replace their jersey with a new jersey that is still dry at halftime to keep the body warm in the rain.

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