Volleyball and Physics (2022)

How are volleyball and physics related?

What on Earth could volleyball and physics possibly have in common? Watching or playing a volleyballl game is an excellent way tosee the principles of physics in action. Understanding physics can be tricky when you're just looking at a bunch of equations in a book. But by paying attention to the physics of sports like volleyball, those concepts become easier to grasp. Further, the athlete who understands the physics of the game has a definite advantage on the court. Here are a few of the basic principles of physics, explained through volleyball.


GRAVITY

Gravitational force, or the force of attraction between an object and the Earth, has an impact on every element of Volleyball. Whether you are serving, bumping, or spiking, gravity will affect every interaction you have with the ball.

Serving: When a volleyball is served, the server exerts an upward, and forward, force on the ball. Meanwhile, gravity is exerting a downward force on the volleyball. This downward force is what causes the ball to fall down on the opponent's side, after clearing the net. To assist gravity, you can snap your wrist which adds top spin the skids over the ball as you serve. This spin crates pressure difference above and below the ball. According to researcher Dr. Marion Alexander, this top spin causes the ball to fall quickly on the opponent's side after clearing the net.

Passing: When a player performs a forearm pass, or bump, an upward and forward force is exerted on the ball toward a target player. Gravity exerts a downward force on the ball, and if you do not compensate for this, your target player will not have time to set underneath the ball before it hits the ground. To account for the force of gravity, simply follow through with your forearm when bumping, to exert force on the ball, over a longer period of time. This will cause the ball to go higher and ensure that the target player has time to prepare herself beneath the ball.

Spiking: When you spike a volleyball, you have the opportunity to deliver a crushing offensive blow to your opponent. When spiking, you exert a downward force on the ball so that it falls rapidly on the opponent's side of the court, making it very difficult for your opponent to return the ball. Gravity works in your favor when you spike, because it also exerts a downward force that makes the ball fall to the court floor. For this reason you do not necessarily have to exert tremendous downward force to spike effectively, because gravitational force is also acting on the ball in the same direction.

(Video) The Physics of Volleyball

Digging: When digging a volleyball, you are exerting a sharply upward force to prevent it from hitting the ground. However, gravity is exerting a downward force on the ball, and if you do not account for this you will not hit the ball high enough to prevent it from hitting the ground. To account for this, bend your knees low to generate force with your legs, when digging. This will ensure that you hit the ball high enough for your teammates to get in position.

(Video) The Physics of Volleyball

Work, velocity, and acceleration

Work: Work is when a force moves an object. In Volleyball, the force is the player and the object is the ball. When the player hits, spikes, or serves the ball it moves in the direction in which the force has been applied. Hopefully, that direction will be over the net, when spiking or serving, and to the target when bumping.

Velocity: Velocity is the speed of movement. You can figure out the velocity of a volleyball shot by dividing the distance your ball traveled by the amount of time it took to get there. So let's say you serve a ball across the net from the behind the serving line, 30 feet, and the ball takes 1.5 seconds to get across the net. To find the velocity you would divide 30 feet by 1.5 seconds, which would be 20 fps. So the speed of movement, or velocity, of your serve was 20 feet per second. The higher the velocity the tougher it is for your opponent to hit the ball back to you. Which means, the faster your ball is traveling the harder it is to return.

(Video) When Physics Is a Joke | Volleyball HD

Acceleration: Acceleration is an increase in velocity. Let's say you've just served the ball, it's gone over the net, and is falling to the ground. As gravity pulls the ball to the ground, it accelerates. If you gently lob the ball over the net and your opponent sends a hard spike back at you, that's another example of acceleration. The ball's velocity increased when spiked back over the net, by your opponent, therefore it accelerated.

Newton's three laws of motion

Sir Isaac Newton, is said to be, the greatest English mathematicians of his generation. He laid the foundation for differential and integral calculus. His work on optics and gravitation make him one of the greatest scientists the world has known. Newton's laws of motion are three physical laws that form the basis for classical mechanics, and describe the relationship between the forces acting on the body and its motion due to these forces. Newton's laws affect every aspect of our life, therefore they affect volleyball, and every other sport, greatly. I'm going to inform you on just how the laws do affect volleyball.

Newton's first law states that, " An object at rest will stay at rest, and an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force."

(Video) biomechanics in volleyball spike

How does this affect Volleyball? : Newton's first law of motion affects every volleyball player who botches a serve and sends the ball snacking into the net. Every player who blocks a hard-hit ball from an opposing player feels the law's effect on her stinging arms. The server's hand, the net, and the blocker's forearms acted as an unbalanced force that stopped, or changed, the direction of the ball, the object in motion.

Newton's second law states that, " The acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net external force acting on the object andinversely proportional to the mass of the object."

Howdoes this relate to Volleyball? : Newton's second law of motion is a mathematical equation that explains the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration. Mass multiplied by acceleration equals net external force. A spiked volleyball creates a net external force that stings your hands when you stop it. But your hands hurt even more when you stop a ball hit by a different, stronger opponent. The harder-hit ball's higher acceleration rate results in a stronger net external force.

Newton's third law states that, " To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

(Video) A Biomechanical Analysis of the Volleyball Float Serve

How does this relate to Volleyball? : Newton's third law explains that every action creates a force that is met by an equal reaction force from the opposite direction. When two objects interact, they exert a force on each other. The action force of a spiked ball meets the reaction force of a player's block. A team scores a point when the action force of a spiked ball meets the reaction force of the opposing team's court. The hard floor has more force than the soft ball, so the ball bounces off the court to equalize the reaction of the impact.

The next time you're playing or watching a game of Volleyball, think about all of the elements of physics involved. Without gravity, acceleration, velocity, work, and Newton's laws, Volleyball wouldn't be challenging at all.

FAQs

How is volleyball related to physics? ›

Throughout the game of volleyball, the mass of the ball remains constant, but the acceleration and direction of the ball change constantly. According to the work-energy theorem in physics, work produces a change in kinetic energy.

How do you explain projectile motion in volleyball? ›

Projectile Motion describes the motion of the ball. Whether it's a serve, set, or dig, a volleyball will always travel in a parabolic motion. This is because the only force that acts on the ball after the ball is given an initial force is gravity assuming that there is no air resistance.

What is the magnus effect in volleyball? ›

The Magnus Effect And Air Resistance

The airborne time of the volleyball can be reduced even more by putting top-spin on the volleyball. This causes the ball to experience an aerodynamic force known as the magnus effect, which "pushes" the ball downward so that it lands faster.

Will the mass of a volleyball be greater on the moon or on the earth? ›

The mass of the object would be the same however on both the earth and the moon, because mass does not change. The force of gravity on an object is much larger on the earth.

How is physics used in sports? ›

Understanding the physics of motion can affect all areas of sports, from helping athletes move faster, to preventing injuries, planning more efficient trainings, and developing aerodynamic equipment and clothing. Physics and sports are intimately connected.

How is force applied in volleyball? ›

As stated in Newton's Second Law, force = mass x acceleration. During volleyball, the ball accelerates. - One example is, when the ball has gone over the net and the player on the opposite side hits the ball back and increases it's speed.

What type of energy is used while playing volleyball? ›

There are two main energy systems in volleyball: anaerobic and aerobic. Anaerobic energy is used during the initial setup of the game, while aerobic energy is more important later in the match.

How is momentum used in volleyball? ›

Technique in Volleyball

The change in momentum a player feels when they spike the ball has the same value as the impulse exerted on the ball. When spiking a ball a player goes from having momentum when moving their hand to smack the ball, to having less momentum when they follow through after hitting.

What is kinetic energy in volleyball? ›

Energy of motion is called kinetic energy. A volleyball's kinetic energy enables the ball to do work when it strikes a net and forces the net to deform. Objects can also have energy because of their position.

Why is acceleration important in volleyball? ›

Another example, is the player always has to accelerate towards the ball, to hit it over the net. This amount of acceleration towards the ball will determine if she reaches on time to avoid it form hitting the ground and costing her team a point.

What is the physics behind a float serve? ›

As the ball rotates with top spin it drags more air under the ball, which must move faster than the air on top to get by in the same amount of time. Bernoulli's Principle states that faster air has lower pressure so more air pressure on top and less on the bottom forces the ball down.

How does math relate to volleyball? ›

In short, in order to relate volleyball with math, the force needed to make the ball move a certain height or distance, the angle required to make the ball over the net, and the arrangement of players, such that less players cover more ground need to be well illustrated.

How does Newton's law apply to volleyball? ›

Newton's third law of opposing forces can be seen when volleyball players jump off the gym floor. The force exerted by their feet downwards is countered by an opposing, upwards force exerted by the gym floor. If the floor didn't “push back,” athletes wouldn't be able to leave the ground and hit the ball when needed.

How does Newton's second law affect volleyball? ›

How does this relate to Volleyball? : Newton's second law of motion is a mathematical equation that explains the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration. Mass multiplied by acceleration equals net external force. A spiked volleyball creates a net external force that stings your hands when you stop it.

How does weight or mass affect volleyball? ›

The mass of a volleyball affects the amount of force needed to get it to where it needs to go. So, the mass of a volleyball also affects the player's hit like weight.

What forces are used in sports? ›

The most likely forces acting on an athlete are friction, air resistance, weight, and reaction forces.

How science and sports are connected? ›

The focus of sport science is to help maximise performance and endurance in preparation for events and competitions while lessening the risk of injury. It's used to help identify strengths and weaknesses so that a training program can be individualised for everyone from athletes to the elderly, and everyone in-between.

How is physics related to exercise science? ›

An understanding of how physics interacts with human movement is essential in the testing and application of proper exercise methods. Gravity, inertia, velocity, acceleration, friction, momentum, work, power, and torque are all aspects of physics that must be considered in proper exercise application and measurement.

Which force makes the ball begin moving? ›

In flight, the ball rotates about the center of gravity. Newton's laws of motion describe the translation of the center of gravity. As the ball moves through the air, the air resists the motion of the ball and the resistance force is called drag. Drag is directed along and opposed to the flight direction.

How is friction used in volleyball? ›

In Volleyball, sliding friction occurs when the player dives to hit the ball back. The person slides and slowly stops, because there is friction stopping it. Fluid friction influences the movements of the volley ball because air resistance slows down the ball while in the air.

Does volleyball show potential energy? ›

As the ball starts falling, the potential energy turns into kinetic energy. This relation shows that kinetic and potential energy is inversely proportional. A volleyball will have the most kinetic energy right before it hits the ground, and will have a potential energy of zero.

What energy system should be stressed in volleyball? ›

The energy system demands of a volleyball player are for the most part aerobic. What is important, however, is the energy system of a play, which is anaerobic in most cases. In a series of plays you will have a high intensity anaerobic burst followed by a recovery period.

How is agility used in volleyball? ›

In volleyball players, agility is a key component in being a great athlete. This sport requires explosive jumps and changes in direction. Jumping is important in this sport not only for blocking the ball, but also for spiking. The player must jump vertically to block and jump up to shoot the ball down over the net.

Is volleyball High Intensity? ›

Volleyball is a high-intensity intermittent sport with frequent explosive movements, where trained players, for example, have been shown to perform ∼115 jumps and 85 hits in a game ( 27).

What is side spin in volleyball? ›

How to Serve with Side Spin? While it's not a traditional serve that coaches like to see or teach, it's easy to serve with sidespin. As you swing to make contact with the ball, you simply make contact off center on the opposite side of the ball that you would like it to go.

How can I make overhand serve better? ›

VolleyChat! Ask a Pro | How to Make Your Overhand Serve More Powerful

Does momentum exist in sports? ›

The concept of momentum appears ingrained in sporting culture and research evidence clearly shows that athletes' perceptions of momentum do exist, and shift in response to gaining or losing ground in competition (1). Momentum sequences can be very brief or even roll over from one match to the next.

What is the law of volleyball? ›

PLAYING THE GAME (VOLLEY)

Maximum of three (3) hits per side. Player may not hit the ball twice in succession (a block is not considered a hit). Ball may be played off the net during a volley and on serve. A ball touching a boundary line is good.

What sports use projectile motion? ›

A projectile is anybody which is thrown or jumped into the air. Once it has left the ground it will follow a flight path called a parabola until it once more comes back down to earth. This applies to balls, javelins, discus, long jumpers, high jumpers, and horses showjumping.

What has more momentum? ›

Massive objects have more momentum for a given speed, while lighter objects have less momentum. This is why it takes more effort (force) to stop a fully loaded truck than an empty one. Likewise, faster moving objects have more momentum than slower moving objects.

How is speed involved in volleyball? ›

Speed and quick feet help players immediately react to whatever direction the ball is hit, preventing it from touching the floor. Hitting, blocking, setting, and digging skills will all improve when a player is able to quickly move around the volleyball court.

Why is reaction time important in volleyball? ›

Reaction time is very important in sports and games where the movements of the players are conditioned by signals, by the movement of the ball or by the movements of the opponent (22). Reaction time which is one of the most important components in most activities, refers to the speed of decision making and movement.

How fast is a volleyball hit? ›

He reported a mean velocity of 91 ft. Zsec, (62 mph) and a maximum velocity of 162 ft./sec. (110 mph). This figure has been compared to the velocity of Bob Feller's fast ball (145 ft./sec. or 98.8 mph) to emphasize the speed and power involved in modern volleyball.

How does air pressure affect a volleyball? ›

If the air pressure in a volleyball is measured at the low end, low legal end, high legal end, and high end then the ball will go farthest when at the low legal end because if the ball is too hard or too soft it will drop short.

What are the 3 types of volleyball serves? ›

For competitive volleyball, there are three main types of overhand serves: the floater, the topspin, and the jump serve. Try them all to find out which one suits you best, but keep in mind that you will want to be somewhat proficient in all three.

What causes a volleyball to float? ›

A float serve is a type of jump serve in indoor and beach volleyball that seemingly "floats" over the net because of the lack of rotation as the ball travels. The goal of the serve is to minimize the spin of the ball after the server hits it, creating a knuckleball effect that makes it difficult to defend.

What math topics can be used in volleyball? ›

The chance of winning and the angle of serving a ball aren't the only ways that math can be used in volleyball. For example, a hitter might spike the ball at a certain angle towards a weak player or a setter might set the ball to a certain height depending on the hitter's height.

How is math used in basketball? ›

In the game of basketball, mathematics is used constantly to improve one's performance. Achieving the objective of shooting a basketball includes using percentages and angles. By finding the most consistent percentage of shots made while using a certain angle, you can find out which player will score the most baskets.

What is the action and reaction force of a volleyball player hitting volleyball? ›

The action and reaction forces act on different objects. On the other hand, the volleyball players in this picture are both exerting a force on the same object – the volleyball. When they hit the ball from opposite directions, each of their hands exerts a force on the ball equal in strength but opposite in direction.

Did you know facts about volleyball? ›

Volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan in 1895, but it did not become an Olympic sport until 1964. A single player may jump as many as 300 times in a volleyball match. The record for most consecutive passes in volleyball is 110, achieved in the United States, in Raleigh, North Carolina, on February 5, 2010.

What is Newton's 3rd law? ›

Newton's third law simply states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, if object A acts a force upon object B, then object B will exert an opposite yet equal force upon object A.

Is volleyball a law of acceleration? ›

The law of acceleration comes into play every time a volleyball player moves on the court. Smaller athletes are more agile on the court because their lower mass accelerates and decelerates more quickly, which is particularly critical on defense.

How does projectile motion work in volleyball? ›

Projectile Motion describes the motion of the ball. Whether it's a serve, set, or dig, a volleyball will always travel in a parabolic motion. This is because the only force that acts on the ball after the ball is given an initial force is gravity assuming that there is no air resistance.

What is the second touch in volleyball? ›

If a player touches the ball or the ball touches a player, it is considered as a play on the ball. If 2 players on the same team contact the ball simultaneously, it counts as two hits and neither may play the ball again.

Do volleyball players lift heavy? ›

Yes, beach volleyball players lift weights. Especially in the off season they lift weights to increase strength. This increases their potential to run faster and jump higher. It also makes them more resilient to injuries.

Do you need muscle for volleyball? ›

Muscles used in Volleyball

A strong base, legs and hips, as well as explosive lower leg strength is needed to jump and move for the ball. Strong shoulders are needed for the various overhead shots. Good strength in the core muscles helps with balance and control.

How do you measure air pressure in volleyball? ›

Insert the pump needle into the valve, ensure that the needle is level with the surface of the volleyball. Inserting it at an angle carries with it the risk that the ball may burst. Once inserted, read the pressure level on the gauge of the hand pump.

What forces are involved in volleyball? ›

Gravitational force impacts every aspect of volleyball; whether you are serving, passing, or hitting. Gravity will effect every contact with the volleyball. When some one is going to serve, the server uses upward and forward force on the volleyball, while gravity is using a downward force.

How does Newton's law apply to volleyball? ›

Newton's third law of opposing forces can be seen when volleyball players jump off the gym floor. The force exerted by their feet downwards is countered by an opposing, upwards force exerted by the gym floor. If the floor didn't “push back,” athletes wouldn't be able to leave the ground and hit the ball when needed.

How does Newton's second law relate to volleyball? ›

According to Newton's second law, if we apply the same force to both the lighter volleyball and the heavier basketball for the same amount of time, the volleyball will have a bigger change in velocity.

How is Newton's first law used in volleyball? ›

Volleyball fits in with the Newtons First law

The force of the servers hand applying pressure to the ball to make the ball go up ward will make the ball stay in motion till the server then hits the ball. The ball remains in motion until it reaches the opposing team, hits the net, and or hits the ground.

How does math relate to volleyball? ›

In short, in order to relate volleyball with math, the force needed to make the ball move a certain height or distance, the angle required to make the ball over the net, and the arrangement of players, such that less players cover more ground need to be well illustrated.

How does speed relate to volleyball? ›

Speed Is how fast an object is moving. Player: The player uses speed to move around on the volleyball court. The player will constantly be changing their speed to either slow down or speed up. Also another occasion when players use speed is when they swing their arm to hit the ball.

How is momentum used in volleyball? ›

Technique in Volleyball

The change in momentum a player feels when they spike the ball has the same value as the impulse exerted on the ball. When spiking a ball a player goes from having momentum when moving their hand to smack the ball, to having less momentum when they follow through after hitting.

Is volleyball a law of acceleration? ›

The law of acceleration comes into play every time a volleyball player moves on the court. Smaller athletes are more agile on the court because their lower mass accelerates and decelerates more quickly, which is particularly critical on defense.

How does Newton's third law relate to volleyball? ›

Newton's Third Law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In volleyball: The ball hits your hand just as hard as you hit the ball. To avoid injuring your fingers, hold your hand in the proper position.

How is friction used in volleyball? ›

In Volleyball, sliding friction occurs when the player dives to hit the ball back. The person slides and slowly stops, because there is friction stopping it. Fluid friction influences the movements of the volley ball because air resistance slows down the ball while in the air.

How does weight or mass affect volleyball? ›

The mass of a volleyball affects the amount of force needed to get it to where it needs to go. So, the mass of a volleyball also affects the player's hit like weight.

What is the action and reaction force of a volleyball player hitting volleyball? ›

The action and reaction forces act on different objects. On the other hand, the volleyball players in this picture are both exerting a force on the same object – the volleyball. When they hit the ball from opposite directions, each of their hands exerts a force on the ball equal in strength but opposite in direction.

What is the basic rules of volleyball? ›

PLAYING THE GAME (VOLLEY)

Maximum of three (3) hits per side. Player may not hit the ball twice in succession (a block is not considered a hit). Ball may be played off the net during a volley and on serve. A ball touching a boundary line is good.

Which force makes the ball begin moving? ›

In flight, the ball rotates about the center of gravity. Newton's laws of motion describe the translation of the center of gravity. As the ball moves through the air, the air resists the motion of the ball and the resistance force is called drag. Drag is directed along and opposed to the flight direction.

What is inertia volleyball? ›

When a volleyball player sends the ball flying, its inertia that keeps it moving with speed. If inertia didn't exist, the ball would fall straight to the ground, and the game would be extremely boring. Inertia is a body's resistance to moving, or to change velocity once under motion.

Did you know facts about volleyball? ›

Volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan in 1895, but it did not become an Olympic sport until 1964. A single player may jump as many as 300 times in a volleyball match. The record for most consecutive passes in volleyball is 110, achieved in the United States, in Raleigh, North Carolina, on February 5, 2010.

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