Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Journal Gazette | 03/20/2006 | Physics plays havoc with basketball jump shots

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"As March Madness in NCAA basketball continues, I thought that it might be fun to consider some of the scientific principles and modern technologies used by players and coaches to improve individual performance.

For example, the angle at which the ball is thrown toward the basket obviously is critical to the success of the shot. This angle of approach should be as large as possible so that as the ball travels downward toward the basket, it has the largest hoop target area through which to pass.If a player throws the ball at a shallow angle, the target area relative to the ball becomes more elliptical in shape and effectively smaller in size, leaving little margin for error.

Unfortunately, launching the ball at a steeper angle also requires more effort and greater control. Should a player then try to shoot at a larger angle at distances far from the basket by exerting more effort but sacrificing control, or is it preferable to reduce the exertion and increase control by launching the ball at a smaller angle?"

Read more at www.fortwayne.com/mld/j...

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