The science of passing a basketball
by Mallory Tarnowski

One of the most important components of basketball is passing. There are many different kinds of passes such as the bounce pass, chest pass and the “no look pass”.

The Question:


The question im going to answer in this project is, how does the ball get from you to your teammate?

The Research:

To successfully complete a pass the player begins by exerting the force of the basketball. Once the ball leaves the player’s hands it becomes a projectile. This is acted upon by two independent forces. The first force is the force exerted on the ball by the player. The second force is the pull of gravity on the ball.

Another factor in how you get the ball from you to your teammate is, weather or not your teammate is stationary or in motion. If your teammate is stationary than the ball needs to go directly at them. If your teammate is in motion than the ball needs to be thrown slightly in front of them so you can ensure it reaches the player. This is because of Newton’s first law of motion: an object in motion will stay in motion and an object at rest will stay at rest, unless acted upon by an outside force
external image 1137018360.jpg

The momentum of the ball is also a very important thing to know. The momentum is the product of a body’s mass and its velocity. The more momentum the ball has the easier and faster it will travel to your teammate, but the harder it is to catch. If you want to increase or decrease the momentum of the ball all you have to do is change the amount of time in which you throw or catch. This is why you “follow through” when you pass or shoot. A ball with more momentum has a greater chance of getting to your teammate.
external image kareem-abduljabbar-skyhook1.jpg


Acceleration is another important part of passing. The acceleration of the ball has a big effect on the impact of the pass. For example if you catch the pass into you body it will knock the wind out of you. This impact can be lessened. Like I said earlier the ball coming at you has momentum. By increasing the time over which you decelerate the ball, you lessen the force. This is the same thing that makes the air bags in you car work. Of course, catching the ball closer to your chest has other benefits. It makes it less likely you will drop it and harder for someone to grab.


external image oly7-ricky-rubio-passes.jpgLastly a balanced force will help your pass be accurate. You if you were standing with more weight on one leg instead of evenly distributed, you will be off target making it more challenging for your teammates to pass.
want to stand with you feet shoulder with apart so your body is balanced. If you body is balanced when you pass the ball it will be even and accurate.
For example if you were standing with more weight on one leg instead of evenly distributed, you will be off target making it more challenging for your teammates to pass.



Bibliography:
video

1-Nike Signature Moves-Ricky Rubio- found on YouTube- April 1, 2010
pictures in order of appearence

1-http://content.draftexpress.com/gallery/General/1137018360.jpg March 30, 2010
2-http://www.nbaloud.com/images/kareem-abduljabbar-skyhook1.jpg April 5, 2010

3-http://www.interbasket.net/news/wp-content/gallery/olympics-2008/oly7-ricky-rubio-passes.jpg March 30, 2010