The Role Of Physics In Soccer Essay

Soccer has become an important part of the culture in America. Recently, the Women’s National Soccer team even won one of the biggest honors possible, the World Cup. People play and watch soccer games all of the time and yet few people actually realize the physics that are involved in almost everything that they see or do. While there are multiple ways that physics is used in a soccer game, this paper explores three parts and the physics that are involved in each one. The three parts that are going to be discussed are passing, heading, and throw-ins.

These three can explain how physics can work from a soccer ball coming or going in each and every direction. Also, every part that is discussed uses different parts of the body. This can go to show that no matter what body part is used that physics can be applied. For example, while passing uses a players’ feet and legs, heading the soccer ball uses the players’ head and upper body. Then there are throw-ins, which can use almost a players’ whole body. Physics can be observed in the smallest and largest ways on the soccer field.

People can observe it anywhere from running and passing a soccer ball to a teammate, to throwing the ball in from the sidelines. Soccer is a difficult and tiring sport and uses physics in almost everything. One of the biggest and most important parts of soccer is passing. Soccer players pass more than they do anything else in a soccer game. Passing is the most accurate way to get the soccer ball to any teammate running with you on the soccer field. Yet there is a lot more to passing than most people, or soccer players, even realize.

The physics behind passing a soccer ball is interesting because there is more than one thing going on at the same time. To start off, there is Newton’s Second Law. When a ball is passed the receiver needs an accurate ball but with some pace behind it for the receiver to actually get the ball and control of it quickly. Newton’s Second Law is used to describe the motion of the pass of the soccer ball which is F=ma or Force= mass multiplied by acceleration. The force is applied to the soccer ball and it then accelerates. Let’s not forget about the mass of the soccer ball.

The ball has a relatively small mass and therefore will have a greater acceleration. For example, the soccer ball would move faster than if you were to try it with a bowling ball. When the ball is accelerating and in motion it is going over grass. This causes some friction to occur. Friction happens when “a force created by two surfaces or fluids coming in contact with each other”(). The equation for friction is F= uN or Force of Friction = coefficient of friction multiplied by the normal force. The coefficient of friction is the “u” is the equation.

The lower the coefficient of friction is, the slower the ball move and vice versa. The “N” of the equation is the normal force. This is also commonly known as the objects weight. The heavier the ball is the less it travels as well. There have been times where the grass on a soccer field can be so thick that there is no way to get an accurate or fast pass while on the ground. On the other hand, there are fields that are all dirt and rocks and no grass. The players on the field have to adjust their strike on the ball to every field condition and whether they realize it or, they are using physics to do it.

While passing is a way to get the ball to another player, there are many ways that the receiving player can receive the ball. The player could just hit it with their foot, or maybe a thigh. Depending on how high the ball is, the player can use their chest or even their head. When a player goes up and hits the ball with their head there are physics at work. When a player goes up to head a ball in a soccer game something called an elastic collision occurs. An elastic collision is defined as “when the total kinetic energy of two objects before a collision is equal to the total kinetic energy of the two objects after the collision” ().

So the total kinetic energy is the same after the soccer ball hits the players head as it was before it did. If the soccer ball hits a players head while it is at rest, a portion of the kinetic energy is transferred over to the players head since it was at rest. This is why soccer players are told to push there head back and move their head into the soccer ball. By doing this, the player can use the movement of the soccer ball and push it to where they want it to go with some speed. If the player just lets the ball hit their head, the ball can bounce off at any angle.

Yet if the soccer player moves their head into the ball, they can have more control over where the ball goes. For people who are not familiar with soccer, the example I like to use when talking about heading the soccer ball is playing pool. When playing pool, someone hits the cue ball and tries to hit their set of balls into the pockets around the table. The cue ball would be the soccer ball and the players certain set of balls would be the players head. When the cue ball is hit and strikes a still pool ball, both balls end up moving.

The energy from the cue ball is transferred to the still ball so that the ball will move into the players’ pocket of choice. Soccer players do not want their head smacked and moved like one of the still pool balls so that’s why they have to move their head towards the ball when it is hit to them. Passing and heading have explained multiple physics principles but throw-ins have a couple more concepts to discuss. A soccer throw-in is when the soccer ball is played out of bounds of the field and a player has to enter the ball back in bounds.

The team that touched the ball last lost possession so a player from the opposite team gets to throw the ball back in bounds. The player that throws the ball back into bounds grabs the ball with both hands and puts the ball all the way behind their head. The player then proceeds to bring the ball over their head. They then release the ball and try to throw it as hard as they can to their teammates. When a player throws a ball in, the ball does not just travel in an upward direction. If the ball did that then soccer players would never get the ball where they want it to go.

The ball is put into the playing field again by force. The soccer ball is thrown at an angle and not evenly to the ground. What force or forces are acting on the ball to make the ball curve and come down? This force would be called gravity. The force is applied to the soccer ball as it comes from behind the players head and released. When the soccer ball is released, gravity acts on the ball and it returns to the ground. If gravity was absent then the ball would continue to go up and fly off into the atmosphere.