Wet weather or wet conditions change the way in which a player must approach playing the game. In the first instance, the wet conditions means the skill of kicking the ball accurately becomes more difficult. It requires greater concentration in delivering the ball to the foot. It is important to drop the ball as close as possible to your foot to ensure the best contact possible.
In wet conditions the ball is spilt more often. As a result picking the ball up is harder as the ball becomes slippery. In picking the ball up, the top hand must precede the ball helping it into the lower hand and sealing the ball in the grip of both hands. If the player has trouble trapping the ball, then it should be “soccered” forward or knocked on by hand.
One of the exciting aspects of Australian Football is to see a player running up the ground bouncing the ball every 15 metres. That is impossible in wet conditions. One of two things will happen when trying to bounce the ball. Firstly, the ball may simply slid forward and not bounce up to allow the player to regather the ball. Secondly, if the ball hits a pool of water, even only millimetres deep, it will plop and not bounce at all. So if you must run with the ball, simply touch the ground with it, realising this will slow you down allowing the chasing player a chance to catch you.
Another aspect of Australian Football that is affected by wet conditions is marking the ball especially the high mark. Often the ball slips through your hand. The ball also becomes heavier and the player needs to soften his hands and arms as the ball comes in contact with them to absorb the force of the ball and prevent it from bouncing out of the player’s grasp.
Spoiling the mark is another aspect of the game. On a wet day, the spoil needs to use both fists to get the ball as far away as possible.
The wet conditions mean also that the ball, once it is wet will not travel as far when kicked or handballed. So players must adjust their position around the packs as the ball is delivered to make allowance for this. It is also important to be aware that in a high marking contest the ball almost always slips through to the back of the pack.
What has been written in this article are the basics of wet weather play. As the player grows in experience his coach will offer more advice on how best to play wet weather football.