Is It Bad To Get A Basketball Wet? Basketball In The Rain

For most people, basketball is a fun sports activity. It helps them feel relaxed and blow off stress. Fortunately, there are basketball courts indoors and outdoors. However, playing in harsh weather conditions can be bad for both; the players and the ball. A new player is unaware of certain conditions and doesn’t know Is It Bad To Get A Basketball Wet

Is It Bad To Get A Basketball Wet

Let me be clear, If a basketball gets wet or is left in the rain, the outer leather layer of the ball will get worn and torn. It becomes soft and gets damaged easily. 

Other than buying an expensive and high-quality basketball, there are numerous effective ways of protecting your brown ball and making it last longer. This article will tell you all the tips and tricks of playing basketball on a rainy day and ways to protect your basketball from the effects of moisture. 

What Happens When A Basketball Gets Wet?

Basketball is often enjoyed as an outdoor sports activity, and the chances for the ball to get wet are pretty high. However, water can damage the ball. Good quality basketballs have leather or rubber sheets as their outer lining.

The leather makes it soft and durable. Soaking it in water ruins this leather sheet. If your basketball drops in the pool, its outer layer absorbs moisture. This action might be fine for once, but if the ball gets wet often or sits in water for a long time, it goes through extreme wear and tear. 

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The wear and tear process will accelerate as the leather becomes soft when wet. If the ball had any previous puncture points, water droplets might also get inside, making it heavy, and challenging to dribble. Also, the wet ball is difficult to catch and feels slippery. A few minutes into the game, it gets muddy, leading to players dropping catches. 

What Happens If You Leave A Basketball In The Rain?

Playing basketball in the rain might sound fun, but if you forget the ball outside during the rain or even on a sunny day, you will have to purchase a new one very soon. Exposing a ball to water or rain for long hours makes it lose shape. When the leather gets moist, it softens and gets damaged. You will notice your ball not bouncing properly and becoming useless after some time. 

When you leave the ball outdoors, hours of heat and rain exposure can affect its bounciness. Although the leather used in making the outer layer of the basketball is quite strong, if there are any puncture points, water will make its way through and destroy the rubber lining. It might even puncture the rubber lining making the ball useless for your next game.

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If this unfortunate incident happens to you, there are ways to protect your ball. As soon as you bring the ball inside, clean it with a cloth and detergent to get rid of muddy stains before they harden. If the rain causes the ball’s color to fade away, you can use leather polishers to restore the shine.  

How Do You Dry A Wet Basketball?

If you are a fan of basketball and love playing it outdoors, you might get the ball wet sometimes, but no need to worry as there is an easy and quick solution for this. The first and foremost tip is to keep two separate balls. One ball is for indoor courts and another one for outdoor. So you don’t end up with a loose dull ball after a game in the rain. 

If your ball drops in a puddle of water, the first thing you do is take a dry towel or cloth and pat the ball to remove the water. Doing this prevents excess water from getting inside the ball. Leaving the ball for a sun bath might seem like an easy way to dry it. However, it is a big No. Direct sunlight can also damage the ball’s bounce. After removing excess moisture with a cloth, place the ball in a well-ventilated room and leave it to dry on its own.

Leaving it under a fan is better than placing it under direct sun. Do not rush the drying process. For instance, a hair dryer or a blower is used to dry it quickly. Hot air from the blower can damage its leather. If your basketball is made with low-quality rubber, drying it with a blower might cause the rubber lining inside to lose its shape or expand. Hence to dry a wet basketball, you have to be patient. 

Can I Practice Basketball In The Rain?

If you’re a basketball player, having a game in the rain might sound like an exciting idea, but your ball will have to suffer. Playing in the rain is never advised as it damages the ball and is equally risky for the players.

As the ball dribbles in water puddles, it loses grip and does not bounce like a new ball. Practicing basketball requires great attention and focus, while you might get distracted practicing on a rainy day. Players sometimes bruise themselves while trying to run or catch the ball, as water decreases friction and makes it slippery and difficult to hold. 

The rain makes players get soaked in water, making things messy when they sweat. However, if there’s light rain with a pleasant breeze and it feels like the perfect weather to have an outdoor game, you may use an outdoor basketball and dry it appropriately after the game.

Can You Play Basketball On A Wet Court?

The most dangerous part of playing in the rain is the slippery court. This slipperiness is extremely dangerous for players who constantly run around. Players might miss a step due to the wet floor and face serious injuries. As a splashy court has little friction, it will be dangerous to run on the court. Above all, you won’t enjoy a good game as the ball won’t bounce back up from a water puddle. 

To play on a wet court, players must have good quality basketball shoes with a tight grip. These shoes give them support and are safer to run around. Along with that, a low-quality outdoor basketball should be used while playing on a wet court. This cheaper version will make you feel less sad if the ball gets punctured. Also, if there is a rain forecast, do not forget to keep a towel to use after the game. 

Is It Bad To Get A Basketball Wet?

Getting your basketball wet is never a good idea. If you want to clean the ball, it is better to use a damp piece of cloth and then remove the excess moisture with a dry towel. Placing a basketball in any extreme conditions will ruin it. Be it too much direct sunlight or under a heavy rainstorm. A wet basketball loses its texture and grip making it unsuitable for the play.

You will have to bounce it with extra pressure every time, which is dangerous for players. In worst-case scenarios, water can leak inside the leather lining through a hole or puncture, causing water to accumulate inside and making the ball heavy. 

To sum it up, it’s never a good idea to soak a basketball in the water while washing it or leaving it in the rain. There are easier ways to clean the ball. For instance, you can use a soft leather eraser to remove mud stains, and for tougher stains, there are leather cleaners available on the market. These will help you avoid muddy spots without drenching your ball in the water. 

How Long Does It Take A Basketball To Dry?

Basketballs are made of durable leather material. They can absorb a lot of water if left in the rain; for the water to dry off entirely from its outer layers and inside can take up to two days. Therefore it is advised to keep two B-balls, one for outdoor games and another for indoor playtime. 

The ball set for outdoor games often goes through more wear and tears and loses its grip faster. Hence, buying an expensive basketball for outdoor games might not be great. If your basketball gets wet, don’t try to put it under the sun, as this won’t speed up its drying process. Making the ball undergo harsh weather conditions will make it lose its grip. 

Do Basketballs Get Ruined In The Rain?

While playing in the rain, your ball absorbs water every time you dribble. This excess water makes it heavy and hard to play with the ball. It is fair to say that basketballs get ruined after a game in the rain.  


Playing basketball in the rain can be an enjoyable activity. However, players need to be prepared and learn to take care of their ball. It is advised to minimize running if the court is wet and play the game with more catching and extra teamwork. 

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