Could an astronaut play football in space?

How do you play soccer on the moon?

12 people have been to the moon so far. Neil Armstrong took the “small step” 40 years ago. There has already been a golf tee shot on the moon - but not a shot on goal yet. With lunar football, three things should be considered in particular: The force of attraction is less, there is no air resistance and the lawn is not green.

Imprint of a ball on the moon?

Saturday, June 20, 2026, 5 p.m. local lunar time in the stadium of Mare Ingenii (Sea of ​​Longing): Kick-off for the final of the Moon Cup - the US selection Cosmos Moon York meets the European team from Lunatic United. The game ends 1: 7. Pure fantasy? Still! But the big space travel nations have lunar plans in their drawer - and sport for the astronauts will certainly play a role in possible lunar bases. What would be different when playing on the moon?

Wide passes, gaps in defense ...

The biggest difference to the game in the earthly EM and World Cup stadiums is the significantly lower gravitational pull: on the moon it is only one sixth as big as on earth. A sugar pass over 60 meters quickly becomes a shot that carries more than 350 meters. The ball can reach a height of 50 meters and stays in the air much longer than in earthly stadiums. The playing field should definitely be made a bit larger in order to have enough space for the wide passes (oh, oh, that tears gaps in the defensive chains ...) - visitors should bring binoculars with them.

Comparison of the throwing distances on the moon and earth

The astronaut soccer players can also jump significantly higher. The game looks quite weird - wide-flying passes and high-hopping players. Especially since the players wear a remarkable jersey: a pressure suit. When the ball hits the thick moondust, a lot of energy is lost, the ball does not bounce off as strongly as on a close-cropped European Championship lawn. Filigree technicians like Michael Ballack are hit very hard: there is no atmosphere on the moon, so there is no Magnus effect (see Why is the banana flank crooked?) - unfortunately, trimmed banana flanks are not possible. There will be no art shots "around the corner" on the moon. So moon football is not for aesthetes.

Anyone who is undecided on the goalkeeper question and therefore thinks that a slightly weaker goalkeeper can be used on the moon, because the balls do not arrive quite as hard there, is mistaken: The mass of the ball is like on earth - so fly Lunar shots on goal Neuer, Adler, Wiese & Co. just as hard around the ears.

... and nobody hears the referee.

Speaking of the ears - playing on the moon would have one good thing: Since there is no air and therefore no medium to carry the sound, nobody will hear the referee's whistle. Finally play in peace - without false whistles ...