The Physics of o Volleyball
From six thirty one morning to three O’ clock the next morning was my longest volleyball day ever. Fourteen and a half hours of play with only 3 breaks for food, makes for an exhausting event. So what makes volleyball worth such a sacrifice? It is the endless possibilities and outcomes that can occur by playing this magnificent sport and challenging the basic laws of physics. In the sport of volleyball the same thing never happens twice. Things may seem similar but there are always slight differences. The differences are caused by trying to manipulate those ever so important laws of physics.
Volleyball is the constant confirmation of Newton’s first Law. Every object remains at rest or in motion in a strait line at a constant speed unless acted on by an unbalanced force(P.31). The unbalanced forces that the team members try to manipulate are what make volleyball so interesting. The goal in volleyball is to keep a ball in legally in motion for your team, while trying to force the opponent to fail at keeping the ball in motion. There a few basic possible ways of legally contacting the ball: serving, passing, setting, hitting, and blocking. Each is unique and yet similar. The contact between the player and ball forces a “collision” and different laws of physics explain the actions or reactions of these collisions. This is what makes volleyball so exciting.
One type of contact is a serve. To serve a player must be standing behind the end line and hit the ball over the net. The player tosses the ball into the air with one hand, and forces the ball over the net by hitting it with the other hand. A serve is required to start the game and is repeated after each play. So, after the ball is hit onto the other side of the net, a reaction besides the force place upon the ball will occur. The ball will not stay in the air forever, obviously there is a force on the ball which causes it to drop. This force is gravity.
Without gravity the ball would never come down. It would continue in the same direction in which the force was implied. Projectile motion involves gravity. Gravity is what makes the ball return to the ground.
When gravity does its thing players are able to contact the ball for the second and third times and so forth.
The direction of the ball is very important important. At every point in the game a player wants the ball to go in a specific direction with a precise angle. Depending on how one contacts the ball a player can make the volleyball change direction in mid air. The most common way for this to occur is using specific techniques when contacting the ball on a serve. One particular serve that forces the ball to change it’s direct in mid air is a floater. If a player hits the ball strait on and there is little or no spin on the ball, it will go forward and the air resistance will cause it to suddenly move to one side or the other or back and forth(P.11). Coach...