2385 words - 10 pages

The Physics of Volleyball

Forces, acceleration, gravity, projectile motion, and many other such things make volleyball the game that it is. Volleyball is a sport that includes many aspects of Physics some of these are very basic concepts while others are more advanced. Better understanding of these concepts could improve a player’s game. Physics explains and elucidates the basic fundamentals of volleyball and why one should perform them in such a way.

Displacement is one of the basic concepts of Volleyball that need be understood for the reason that it is needed to understand later concepts. There are six players on the court and each one has a designated ...view middle of the document...

It is possible, with this equation, to find how fast the ball moves from one place to another and how fast a player moves to different spots on the court. A coach always wants their players to be quick on the court. They mentally assess how much distance they can cover in a short period of time; or technically speaking, their velocity. Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity. Players as well as the volleyball have acceleration. This will be discussed more later. Acceleration can be used to find the speed of a player whose velocity increases and decreases during a certain amount of time that they are in motion. Acceleration has both direction and magnitude. When a player moves forward and speeds up they have positive acceleration. If a player moves forward and slows down they have negative acceleration. The formula for average acceleration is A avg= (Vf-Vi)/ (tf-ti).

Another very basic concept of physics that affects volleyball is gravity. It affects every aspect of the game; the players, the ball, the net. If there was not gravity the ball would never come down and there would be no such game.

To this point, only one-dimensional aspects of volleyball have been discussed. A volleyball set, served, or passed, however, moves in two dimensions (both up and forward). This is influenced by the downward pull of gravity and horizontal motion, it is known as projectile motion. Projectile motion can be defined as free-fall with an initial horizontal velocity. These projectiles follow parabolic trajectories. Ignoring air resistance, the volleyball would travel along a parabola. Nevertheless, there is air resistance and the volleyball travels along a shorter path.

The game of volleyball envelops the forces (a force causes a change in the motion of an object) that exist in nature, which are described in Newton’s Laws. Newton’s First Law says: An object at rest remains at rest and an object in motion continues in motion with constant velocity unless it experiences a net external force. This law is also known as the law of inertia. Examples of this law are seen in many different situations on the court. If the ball is falling it will continue falling until it hits the ground or is acted upon (passed, set, or hit) by another player or force. Also, the volleyball net will not move unless it’s hit by a player. Newton’s Second Law states: The acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the Force and inversely proportional to the mass of the object. This can be seen in the equation F=ma. The force a ball is hit with can be found using this law. Finally, Newton’s Third Law explains: There is an equal and opposite reaction for every action. A force acting on a body is the result of its interaction with another body, so forces always come in pairs. In this case, action and reaction are the two opposite forces, or the action-reaction pair. The force of the volleyball hitting the...

Beat writer's block and start your paper with the best examples