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Physics in Volleyball

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Physics is used in almost everything we do throughout our everyday lives. Sports are almost entirely composed of the physics of the human body in order accomplish the performed action. Volleyball is a sport which has physics at the heart of the game, understanding the physics of the game actually allows a player to improve and become more efficient and effective in his or her game. This essay gives insight into how the rules of physics can be used and are essential in the game of volleyball in all aspects of the game including serving, passing, setting, hitting, and blocking. Volleyball is a game of constant projectile motion with various types of contacts involved in each aspect of the game.

In volleyball when serving one must stand behind the end line, which is 30 feet from the net. The net measures 90 inches, or 96 inches for men, from the ground. The goal is to get the ball across the net with as little time as possible so that the other team has less time to react and handle the ball. Traditionally serving has been done from the floor where the server has to create a parabolic motion path for the ball to travel so that it will clear the net and then land within the boundaries of the court.

In modern volleyball the game has progressed to more of a vertical game, with jump serving. The advantages that jump serving gives have to do with the physics of projectile motion. The angle in which the server’s initial velocity has to start from is smaller, because as the height increases the slope of the parabola in the motion of the ball decreases. As the height of contact increases the path that the ball follows becomes line like as it crosses the net and if the contact height is high enough and the ball is contacted correctly...

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...ember 2004<>

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Western Washington University."Projectile Motion" .22Novemeber 2004

Bixby, Sarah.University of Alaska Southeast."The Physics of Volleyball" 2004. 23 November

Anon. Science 306(5693) 42-42. "Engineering of Sport- In Volleyball, Crafty Players Serve Up an Aerodynamic crisis. 2004. 23 November 2004.

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