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Teaching Physics To Basketball Players May Help Them Score Field Goals

First Posted: Mar 14, 2017 06:00 AM EDT

Physics has always been considered one of the most complicated subjects of all. Though each and everything we do especially in sports is based on one or the other basic principle of physics, only a few dare to dig into its calculative aspect. Applying the concepts of physics may help the players do better in their professional careers.

In one such initiative, Paul Landini, a third year college student, tried to study the physics behind successful free throws and field goals in basketball. Landini proposes that basic understanding of physics concepts like velocity, acceleration, momentum and hang time could help basketball players get a better idea of the projectile of the ball thrown by them, The Cavalier Daily reported.

According to physicists, hang time is one of the most crucial aspects while trying to shoot the ball through the hoop. In simple terms, hang time refers to the time spent by the ball at the highest point once it is thrown by the basketball players. When the players attempt to dunk the ball in the hoop, the hang time of the ball as well as the player determines the success rate of scoring points.

The more the height of the player or the more the height of the jump, the more is the hang time of the ball and greater is the success rate. Furthermore, the arc at which the ball is thrown by the players also determines the time it spends in the air and whether it bounces back from the rim or goes in. Furthermore, the "backspin" effect in which the ball passes through the hoop even after hitting the rim is one of the most important concepts of physics that the basketball players need to understand and master, explained Robert Group, Assistant Professor of physics.

According to Irina Barzykina (see the arXiv repository), a recently developed physical model based on Monte Carlo Simulations defines the "optimal release conditions" required for guaranteed success in free throws. The model employs analytical calculations that give out the recommended values of angle and velocity for a successful free throw. With the increasing importance of physics in international games, it seems that soon, physicists will take over the role of coaching basketball players.

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