How Do Soccer Players Play in the Cold? (A deep dive)

If you don’t know already, the soccer season in most of the soccer leagues around the world is around 8 to 9 months long. This means that there will definitely come a time when soccer players will have to deal with cold weather conditions in countries that have cold seasons every year.

With that in mind, how do soccer players play in the cold?

Soccer players are usually able to play during cold weather by wearing more clothes than they normally do during a soccer match, by warming their bodies up before they start playing the game, and by training their bodies to deal with cold conditions in general. 

That’s your quick answer revealed, but if you’d like a deeper dive into how the players keep themselves warm during cold weather conditions, stick around. But before we dive into that, a question that might pop up in your head is the following.

How much cold can soccer players really handle during a soccer game?

Well, an informal answer would be: too much. 

Soccer players are capable of handling extreme cold weather conditions. Some soccer players were able to play during heavy snow both inside and outside the United States, and these players did not show any signs of quitting or slowing down. Instead they were able to provide a great match and make the game enjoyable to watch.

Also, according to this Harvard article, cold weathers may actually help the players improve their endurance during the game. The article talks about how your body sweats less during the cold and how your heart works less and spends less energy, which means that your endurance rises during the cold.

So in simple words, the cold weather conditions are actually good for soccer players when it comes to endurance and when it comes to being able to play a full soccer match without getting exhausted.

So now that you know how much cold soccer players can handle, the question becomes… How do they do that?

How do soccer players stay warm in the cold?

The following are some of the things that soccer players do in order to keep their bodies warm during extremely cold conditions during a soccer game.

1- Wear Extra Clothes

During normal weather conditions, you’ll find soccer players wearing their regular jerseys. They’ll wear shorts and t-shirts for the match along with the other clothes and equipment.

However, during cold weather conditions, many soccer players usually wear extra clothes that cover all their body in order to keep themselves warm.

These clothes are the following:

  • A pair of gloves to keep their hands warm.
  • A long sleeve top under their jersey to cover their upper body and arms
  • Tights under their shorts to cover their legs.
  • Special cleats that keep their feet warm.

These are generally the allowed clothes that soccer players wear during cold weather conditions. These clothes help them keep their body warm during the game and they cover most of their body.

A few notes that are worthy of mentioning when it comes to some clothes used by the soccer players during a game are the following:

The long sleeve top should match the jersey’s color or else the referee will not allow the player to wear it during the game. The reason behind this is that the player’s uniform should remain consistent so that it does not cause any confusion for the players during the game.

The tights should also be the same color as the color of the shorts. However, sometimes a very close color is allowed. For example, you will usually see players wearing black tights if their shorts have a dark color that is close to black.

Also, all of the players on the same team should use the same colors of undershirts and undershorts if multiple players from the same team are wearing them (Which is usually the case during cold weather conditions).

Note that during training sessions, soccer players even use more clothes than the ones they use during soccer matches. For example, you’ll see the players wearing jackets and snoods during practice sessions when the weather is cold.

Soccer players don’t wear some of their training clothes during the game because they are either not allowed or because they affect their performance during the game.

For example, while snoods are allowed during training sessions, they aren’t allowed during an official soccer game. The reasoning behind it is that they are dangerous for the players. If one player grabs another player using their snood, then they might cause them a lot of damage.

2- Warm up before the game.

Soccer players warm up before every soccer game in general just to make sure that their muscles are ready for the game and to avoid any possible injuries.

However, warming up during cold weather conditions is even more important. The muscles get in a better shape and the risk of injury is reduced when the players warm up before playing during a cold weather.

While the players are running on the field, the blood flow in their body and their movements keep most of their body parts warm throughout the whole game.

Also, during halftime, the players try to keep their bodies warm because if they let their bodies cooldown, then they might have a hard time keeping their performance high during the second half of the game.

So to sum this section up, the bodies of the soccer players remain warm while they are constantly moving due to the blood flow and other things that happen inside the body. 

3- They train their bodies to handle the cold.

Many soccer players are just used to the cold. The human body is phenomenal and is capable of adapting to the changes that it faces over time. One of these changes is the weather conditions.

Since many soccer players train during cold conditions regularly, and sometimes they play soccer on a snowy day as we have mentioned before. Their bodies just get used to the cold.

The soccer training sessions during cold weather help the player’s body get ready for any soccer game that might be held during the cold.

Now that you know how the soccer players play in the cold and adapt their bodies to the weather conditions, it’s time to wrap up, but there are a few quick questions that still need to be answered first. So, here you go.

How can players see the field marks if they are covered in snow?

The following are a few things done/used during a soccer game to make sure that the field lines are always visible to the referee and to the players.

1- Undersoil heating systems

There are many soccer fields around the world that contain undersoil heating systems that are used during very cold conditions.

For example, on a snowy day, these heating systems keep the field grass warm in order to make sure that any snow that falls on the field melts within a very short amount of time.

There are some soccer leagues that require all their clubs to have an undersoil heating system installed in their stadium, and this rule is to make sure that soccer is playable 365 days a year and under all cold weather conditions in these leagues. One of these leagues is the Bundesliga in Germany.

2- Have a crew clear up the snow gathered on the field lines.

During extremely snowy conditions, a bunch of crew members with shovels or other tools run into the field towards the field lines and start clearing the snow away from these lines so that they remain visible to everybody during the game.

The game might even be stopped sometimes just for the crew to be able to walk in and clear the snow from these parts of the soccer field.

3- The field lines get painted with colors other than white.

If snow is expected to fall during a soccer game, the soccer field marks might sometimes be colored with a color different from white just to make sure that they are more visible and clear on a snowy day.

Usually, the color used is orange but blue and other colors are sometimes used too. Also, the soccer ball used is usually either orange or any other color that can be clearly seen on a field covered with snow.

Painting the lines with different colors along with constantly clearing the snow off from these lines is usually how soccer match officials deal with snow on fields that do not contain any heating systems.

How do the fans stay warm during cold weather?

Soccer fans are usually the people who feel cold the most during a soccer game because they don’t move a lot during the game. However, the fans are allowed to wear whatever they want unlike the soccer players.

With that in mind, the fans cover themselves up from top to bottom during cold soccer matches, and they remain close to each other in order to keep their bodies warm.

With that said, I’ll end my article here. Here’s a quick summary of what you have read.


Soccer players are allowed to wear some extra clothing during extremely cold conditions in order to keep themselves warm. They also make sure to warm up before the game so that their muscles do not encounter any injuries due to the cold weather conditions.

As for the field lines, they are either heated during snowy days so that they remain visible , or they are colored with colors different than white.