Being one of the most played and loved game around the United States, Baseball is played around the year with most matches taking place during summers.
Sadly, baseball cannot be played in rain. Although associations try to play matches in cities where rain is rare, yet the chances of rain cannot completely be avoided. Rainout takes place whenever it rains during a baseball game and the ground is covered with a tarp to protect it from damage.
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If there is light or moderate rain, according to MLB (major league baseball) rules, players continue to play the game. In case of a heavy shower, the game is suspended.
Prior to the beginning of the game, the manager of the home team has the right to delay the game due to rain. During the game, the umpire in chief is in charge of delaying or closing a game. The duration of a delay is not specified and can be from few minutes to many hours long.
Players around the world and other baseball enthusiasts try to explore the reasons behind the suspension of baseball game due to rain. The question that sports like soccer and football do not face any such delays or stops then why does baseball stop in the rain.
Some of the answers provided to such questions are given below.
Chance of Injury
Although there is an equal chance of getting injured during a game without rain, yet rain increases the chances of injury of players.
Heavy rain can cause players to slip. When the fielders run after the ball to catch it or when the hitter runs, they have a greater chance of slipping on the slippery muddy ground.
The game literally becomes unplayable because of the water puddles that hinder players from running fast in the field.
Leagues don’t want their top players to get injured and become unable to play for the rest of the season. For soccer and football players their cleats are designed in a way that resists slip, gives a firm grip and has extra padding to avoid injuries.
No such care is taken by baseball players. So in order to avoid pointless injuries baseball is not played in rain.
Cloud Coverage and Wind impacts game
The dark cloud coverage combined with thundering and the wind impacts the game. It reduces vision and distracts the players. You obviously don’t want your best players to get struck by lightning.
The wind has the potential to turn the baseball in a different direction and might cause issues for both pitchers and hitters. The Wind also affects the trajectory of a baseball. It makes some players uncomfortable.
Baseball becomes heavy and wet
Do you know that baseball absorbs water and humidity and increases in size? A baseball expands when it soaks up water which in turn makes it heavy and difficult to play with.
Due to this heavy weight baseball, at one hand the pitcher is unable to throw at the right angle, on the other hand, the hitter is unable to hit the ball far away. This makes it difficult for both pitchers and hitters. This causes the arms of the pitchers to get hurt and it might affect the play of fielders as well.
The hard baseball also poses a threat to the hitters as it might hit them in the head and cause serious head injuries.
The wet baseball impacts the grip of the players. The baseball becomes slippery and is hard to catch and grasp especially by fielders.
The bounciness of the baseball is also influenced by rain. When hitters hit a wet baseball, it doesn’t bounce back the way it normally does.
Finally, some studies suggest that rain has a correlation with hangnails – a condition in which the skin of the fingernail gets torn. It is provided if baseball players get hangnails they are unable to play the game.
Being a famous head baseball coach Mike Collins provides and I quote that “The weather can impact every aspect of the game”. Whether it is sunny or rainy, the weather certainly has the potential to change the dynamics of the game.
Keeping all these reasons in mind, the game of baseball is considered unsuitable for playing during rain.