The Physics of Soccer


Length: 734 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Rolling Motion and Friction

Suppose you kick a soccer ball without giving it any spin. Your foot, therefore, gives the ball an initial speed (v) and an initial angular speed of 0. Since grass is not frictionless, the ball initially slides across the field, then starts to rotate and, eventually, starts rolling without slipping. A soccer ball rolls without slipping when its center-of-mass speed equals its angular speed (around its center of mass). OK, now suppose you want to kick the ball so that it immediately starts rolling without slipping. How? You would give the ball "topspin" by striking the ball a distance (s) above an imaginary horizontal line that passes through the ball's center. But where? ANSWER: s=0.4R. You would strike the ball a little less than half the radius of the ball above its center line.

When two objects slide across one another, they exert a frictional force against each other. These forces are always tangent to the surfaces. A soccer ball and its interaction with the field is an example of this. The frictional force is opposite the direction that the ball is traveling. Physics gives us the following equation: f=mN for objects that slide against one another; where the frictional force (f) is equal to the upward "normal force" that the surface exerts on the ball (N) multiplied by the coefficient of friction (m). The coefficient of friction is not a constant, but will vary with the ball and surface type. The more friction there is between the ball and the field, the slower the ball will move after a bounce. Balls that skid, on the other hand, do not generate as much friction and subsequently do not slow down as much. So, the coefficient of friction tells us how fast (or slow) a ball will travel: The higher the coefficient, the slower the ball. A device similar to the Stimpmeter®, which is used to measure the "speed" of a golf green, could measure a soccer field's coefficient of friction by rolling a small ball on grass and measuring the distance it travels before stopping.

Projectile Motion

When projectile motion is treated in basic physics courses, the influence of air resistance is often neglected in the calculations and the trajectory of a projectile becomes a parabola where the horizontal velocity component is contant and the vertical component is subject to gravity. However, for someone watching a game of soccer, it is clear that the motion of a soccer ball is governed not only by gravity, but also by air resistance.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Physics of Soccer." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Sep 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=153332>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Physics of Soccer Essay - Physics of the Ball How and where you kick the ball is the most important aspect within the game of soccer. Lets say you kick the ball perfectly giving it no rotation (or spin), this means that you have given the ball a velocity (v) and an initial angular speed of zero. When the ball comes into contact with the ground it will begin to spin because the ground is not frictionless. The soccer ball will eventually begin to roll without slipping, which is when the balls center of mass is equal to its angular speed....   [tags: physics sport sports soccer football] 1400 words
(4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Physics of Soccer - What makes the ball curve: Soccer players can make the ball curve by applying a Force, kicking, to the ball that is not in the center of the ball itself. When the ball is struck on the side by a player the ball spins while it is moving forward. In the case of the picture below, the soccer ball was struck on the right side of the ball and is spinning counter-clockwise. What causes the ball to actually curve in the air is a difference in the pressures on either side of the soccer ball. On the left side of this soccer ball, the air is moving faster, than the right side, relative to the center of the ball....   [tags: physics sport sports soccer football] 703 words
(2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Angle of Shooting in Soccer Essay - It was about 3 minutes before the time was called. The red light from the score billboard showing “2-1” represented our team’s frustration to win that one more point in order to break even. The cheering sound of the crowd reverberated through the ground; chased by the other two players from the opposing side, I ran as fast as I could toward the opponent’s goal; it was our last chance of scoring. My heart started pounding rapidly, I ran closer to the goal, and took the shot. I missed. My dad started teaching me to play soccer since I was very young....   [tags: freekicks, soccer,math, physics]
:: 1 Works Cited
1424 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Physics of Soccer Essay - Physics of Soccer I. Introduction Soccer is a sport that’s very challenging and during the course of this semester I’ve found physics can also be described as challenging. As far as I was concerned soccer and physics were both challenging and that was all they had in common, consequently upon researching them both this semester I found that I was wrong. For me this was nothing new because I’ve found that physics isn’t a subject that can be skimmed, but rather it has to be studied to the finest detail....   [tags: Physics Research Papers Compare Football]
:: 3 Works Cited
1799 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
physics of soccer Essay - Physics of Soccer Eleven men take the field on a warm sunny day in South Korea. Thousands of anxious soccer fans await the blow of the referee’s whistle to commence the culmination of the world’s greatest sporting event, The World Cup. Thirty-two once stood now only two remain .The pitch is fair and the competition is fierce, four time defending champ Brazil looks confident as it glares across at its nemesis for the duration of ninety minutes, Germany. The entire world is spell bound by the natural creativity that ensues from a high level soccer match, but do they know the necessary physical laws that make the game possible....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 3 Works Cited
823 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on The Science of Soccer - ... Momentum is how far the ball goes. If you have a lot of momentum then the ball will go farther. So if you back up a lot when you kick the ball, and you hit the ball at the right angle then, the ball will go a lot lot farther than just kicking it without backing up. To find the momentum you multiply the velocity of the object by the object's mass. When players pass the ball they use their feet to slow the momentum of the ball. When they do this they gain more control over the ball. The Magnus effect is when the players curve the ball....   [tags: weight, mass, gravity] 1136 words
(3.2 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Essay about Effect of Spin on the Trajectory of a Kicked Soccer Ball - Introduction: I chose this project because soccer is one of the things I love to do. Soccer is one of the most popular sports across the whole world. In soccer being able to curve a soccer ball is very helpful for multiple reasons. One reason is to bend a ball around the a wall of players. Second to possibly score an amazing goal. And last of all to make a simple pass around a defender to a teammate. Anybody that plays soccer and enjoys it probably knows about the famous Roberto Carlos free kick....   [tags: Laws of Motion, Magnus Effect]
:: 8 Works Cited
1103 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Physics of Hacky Sac Essay - History Hackey Sac, or Footbag as it is commonly called, has only recently become a sport. Versions of the activity have existed in Chinese, Native American, Thai, and other cultures for hundreds of years; however, a formal structure for the sport was not adopted until 1972 when John Stalberger and Mike Marshall created the format used today. Hackey Sac now falls into one of two categories: freestyle and net footbag. Freestyle, like that of other sports, consists of a routine of difficult tricks completed in succession with a maxiumum number of difficult tricks performed in a minimal time....   [tags: physics sport sports footbag] 543 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Soccer: Geometry of Goal-Scoring - The adult soccer goal is 24 feet long by 8 feet high, and the penalty shot, which is the shot I will be using in order to keep a constant spot, is 12 yards away from the back of the goal. The independent factors of the experiment are the different angles of the shot. Dependent factors would be the number of goals scored. The controls of the experiment are the size of the goal, soccer ball type, soccer ball size and weight, temp in the gym, kicking surface, and the method of measurement. Variables that will affect the experiment are force, speed, velocity, and most importantly, experience....   [tags: angles, measurements, friction]
:: 3 Works Cited
770 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Physics in Sports Essay - Physics in Sports When many people think of sports, the topic of physics doesn't always come to mind. They usually don't think about connecting athletics with academics. In reality math, science, and especially physics, tie into every aspect of sports. Sports are a commonality that brings nations together, Soccer, known as football to most of the world, is said to an unspoken language, which unties people from different lands through a passion to play a game. Athletics and sports are made by the people who play, watch, and study them....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 2 Works Cited
1447 words
(4.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]



The result from the simplified calculations are obviously not relevant, the range in reality being much shorter than predicted by simple theory and the real path often being quite asymmetric.  In general, the greater the air pressure, the greater the air resistance. As the soccer ball moves through the air, the air in front of it experiences a rise in air pressure and pushes the ball in the direction opposite its motion. While there are various other changes in air pressure around the ball's surface, this rising pressure in front of the ball remains largely unbalanced and it slows the ball down. The higher the air pressure was to start with, the greater its rise in front of the ball and the stronger the backward push of air resistance. Thus if you were to play soccer in the Rocky Mountains, where the air pressure is much less, you'd be able to kick the ball significantly farther.

The Physics of Headers

When trying to aim a header it may not go where you want or expect it to go. Why? Because it's all about vectors. Since the "angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection", try heading the ball towards where it was served. The combinations of vectors (the motion of your head , the motion of the ball, and the bounce -reflection- off of your head) will give the ball its final speed and direction.

Associate Professor Mariusz Ziejewski of North Dakota State University, utilized computer modeling to determine what impact soccer balls would have on crash test dummy heads (the Hybrid III heads, produced by First Technology Safety Systems, were used). The balls were recorded as landing with 150-200 inch-pounds. An inch-pound is a unit of torque, a twisting force. This amount of force is more than sufficient to crack a raw egg and may cause damage to the neck.



Return to 123HelpMe.com