The Physics of Throwing a Football Essay

The Physics of Throwing a Football Essay

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The physics and science that go into throwing a football are very complicated. You must take into account all of the factors around you, as well as figure out the best angle to send the ball where it needs to be. Throwing a deep ball is all about using the right angle with the right amount of force. I want to find out at which angle is the best to throw the ball the farthest. The angles I will test will be a low angle at 15˚, a medium angle at 45˚, and a high angle at 75˚. The force throwing the ball will be the same and the tight spiral will be assumed constant, so the only factor changing will be the angle at which the ball is being thrown. I suspect the medium angle (45˚) will send the ball the farthest.
Strength alone doesn’t always determine how far someone can throw a football. The better your form is, and the angle that you throw the ball, is more important than just your arm strength. The inventors of the modern day football have come up with the egg-like shape for it to travel the best in a tight spiral. When the ball is being thrown, it follows a curved path called a parabola. Gravity is constantly pulling on the ball, forcing it to curve down at the highest point.
Since other forces such as wind resistance or drag acts upon the ball in such a fashion, the ball should make a tight spiral as it travels through the air. If the ball was thrown with the ends perpendicular to the ground, the increased surface area being exposed to the wind resistance causes the ball to quickly lose speed and it wouldn’t be able to travel as far. “In addition to throwing the ball point first, the passer’s grip and release cause the ball to spin on its lateral axis, and he benefits from the aerodynamics of the ball’s ellipsoid shape.” Machin, ...


... middle of paper ...


...ow as well, which is why it’s so hard to actually throw the perfect ball. As I do the experiment, I will measure the distance each ball travels and find an average distance for each angle. This will give me my final analysis on which angle is best to throw a football the farthest.



Works Cited

1. Machin, W. (2014, February 6). The Physics of Throwing a Football. In Livestrong.com. Retrieved March 20, 2014
2. The Physics of a Throwing a Football. (n.d.). In thephysicsoffootball.wikispaces.com. Retrieved March 20, 2014
3. Freudenrich, C. (n.d.). How the Physics of Football Works. In howstuffworks.com. Retrieved March 20, 2014
4. Haas, R. (2011, May 11). Will the Angle of a Football Affect the Distance it Goes?. In livestrong.com. Retrieved March 20, 2014
5. Stamp, J. (2012, October 5). How Did the Pigskin Get Its Shape?. In smithsonian.com. Retrieved April 24, 2014

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