Physics Of Soccer Essay

2220 words - 9 pages

Soccer is a favorite pastime for many people around the globe. Over 2 million people around the world watched the FIFA 2010 World Cup which was hosted by Africa. Soccer is a universal game that shows no favoritism to either sex or age. It is a game that is easily taught and contains relatively simple rules, which are readily understood. Physics plays a major role in all sports, especially soccer. Between the force needed to propel a ball into the back of the goal, or the friction between the ball and the surface being played on, physics is an imperative part of the game of soccer. Soccer can be traced back as far as 2000 years ago in regions of China, Japan and even Rome. However, soccer ...view middle of the document...

Friction is a main component of the physics of soccer. Friction is the force which acts upon an object that is moved across a surface. Friction is what allows a rolling ball to eventually come to a stop without any other forces acting upon it. It is the same force that saves an individual from crashing into another car or object on the road (Bowden, and Tabor 3-8). It is present in almost every facet of soccer and thus must be taken into careful consideration, when trying to deduce how much force is needed to strike a ball. Friction depends on the type of surface that the object is sliding or rolling across.
The game of soccer can be played on grass, turf, or an indoor hardwood or tile surface. When playing on a grass field numerous items must be taken into account to determine the amount of friction acting upon the ball. The height of the grass, thickness of the grass and general moistness, all are important factors that can change the amount of friction acting upon the ball at any one given time. The same holds true for turf, as there can be shorter or longer synthetic grass. Turf, however, is usually much slicker and shorter than grass. This, therefore, creates less friction acting upon the ball to slow it down, so in essence the ball moves faster on the turf. An indoor surface exhibits even less friction, thus allowing the ball to move even faster.
Friction is calculated by the formula F=µn, where F is the friction, µ is the coefficient of friction4, and n is the normal force5. The normal force is what acts upon the ball, and is perpendicular to the surface of contact. Thus it is the surface beneath the ball, keeping the ball on that surface. Each type of substance has a specific calculated coefficient of friction which changes, when either the surface or the object moving across that surface changes. Thus, the coefficient of friction will differ using the same ball on a grass field as opposed to a turf field. Since the normal force is perpendicular to the surface that the object is in contact with, if the object is moving horizontally the normal force will be equal to the gravitational force. This then allows the coefficient of friction, if not given, to be calculated. Knowing the amount of friction that is acting against an object, allows for the determination of the force it will take to move the ball a certain distance.
Friction is broken down into two different types: kinetic and static friction. Kinetic friction is the friction that is exerted on an object in motion. For example the friction acting on a rolling ball is kinetic friction. Static friction is the friction that is exerted on an object at rest and is always larger than that of kinetic friction. This means that it will take more force to kick a ball from rest then it will to kick a ball already in motion. This can also be looked at in terms of the individuals actually playing. It is much harder to start from rest and sprint to a ball, then to already be moving and...

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