How to Throw a Football in Bad Weather Conditions

By Steve Silverman

Throwing a football in the heat of competition can be difficult. Even under the best of circumstances, opposing defensive linemen will attempt to pressure the quarterback and disrupt his passes. The situation becomes even more challenging when bad weather becomes an issue.

Use short- and medium-range passes in windy conditions. Of all the weather problems that a quarterback will face, wind is the worst. When watching a game on television, it may look like rainy or snowy conditions are awful, but quarterbacks agree that wind is the biggest problem. Do not throw high-arching passes in the wind because they won't go where you want them to. Arm strength is the biggest factor when playing in the wind. A quarterback who can throw the ball on a line will have an advantage in those conditions.

Throw the ball normally in rainy conditions. The officials will do everything in their power to keep the ball dry. They will keep it under a towel until it is placed at the line of scrimmage by the referee. The football will be able to take quite a bit of rain and moisture before it gets too heavy to throw. Many quarterbacks will temper with their gameplan in the rain, but it should not be a hindrance unless it is accompanied by wind.

Throwing the ball in snowy conditions is also a challenge. Much of that challenge will come from the quarterback's receivers, who will have a difficult time running their pass routes in the snow. The quarterback will have to slow down his release and delivery to give his receivers a chance to adjust to the ball. Unlike games in good weather, it is almost impossible to throw the timing patterns that quarterbacks and receivers work on in practice every day. Instead, the quarterback has to make sure the receiver is upright and looking for the pass. Throwing a softer more catchable ball is advisable.

Throwing a football in extreme heat can be a big issue. When temperatures exceed 80 degrees, the quarterback's perspiration will make the ball slick and difficult to hold on to. As a result, he should keep a towel attached to the front of his uniform pants in order to dry his hands. A slick ball is hard to control and difficult to throw for any kind of distance.

About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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