external image volleyball.jpg

by: Charlene Tilton and Kendyl Kitch
In the sport of volleyball there are many different aspects of physics. The different aspects of motion are momentum, projectile motion, unbalanced forces, the 1st law of motion, 2nd law of motion, 3rd law of motion, and friction. All of these motions use different types of forces. We are going to cover a few different styles of hitting a volleyball including Bumping, Setting, and Spiking.

external image 200411134-001.jpg%3Fv%3D1%26c%3DIWSAsset%26k%3D2%26d%3D31D8FB54DE31AA5089000FF4529A5E6A5B3737ECFDF6532554DF8E2E317EF20300123AA3B5A18ED0

When you go to bump a ball, have you ever realized that your forearms turn red and warm to the touch? The reason for that is called friction. Whenever there is friction, energy is released in the form of heat. When a volleyball is bumped, it will keep going unless it is acted on by another force. Does that sound familiar? The first law of motion created by Isaac Newton, takes effect when you pass a volleyball. That is why it is bad to swing your arms when you bump, it causes the ball to shank in another direction. Sometimes the other force is the receiving player hitting the ball back, or the other team will miss, and gravity and friction will stop the ball. Another aspect of friction is diving. When you go for a dive, your knees and stomach go across the floor creating friction which causes heat. That's why you wear knees pads.


external image 5-set1.jpg

If you find yourself having to go for a set, you need to get the ball over the net or to one of your own players. To do that though, you need to aim the ball, and to do that, you need to know how hard and the direction in which to hit the ball. To understand how to aim better you can learn about Projectile Motion. Projectile motion is the curved path when an object is thrown or shot near Earth's surface, (caused by gravity). Another one of Newton's laws we haven't talked about is the third law, which states; for every action force there is an opposite reaction force. When go to set a ball you bend you elbow and knees to push the ball up. That's an example of the third law of motion.

external image eagles.jpg

Think about spiking a volleyball and the force behind it. The keyword in this particular type of hit if force. That is what Newton's Second Law is about F=ma (force equal mass times acceleration). During a spike the force and acceleration is all dependant on the person serving the ball. The mass is dependent on the ball you are spiking. Another big part of spiking is the momentum. Even though the ball is not that big, when you spike it you put a lot of velocity behind the ball. The momentum of you hitting the ball is transferred into the ball sending it soaring. Then sometimes a ball that has been spiked will hit a person's head. When that happens the persons head will get knocked back as a result of momentum transferring. Spiking is a great example of unbalanced forces. You are spiking a volleyball the force of you hitting the ball is greater than the volleyball's force on you.


external image img_large_watermarked.jpg

Betcha didn't know that much of science terms could be related to the wonderful game of volleyball? Well, now you know that, in bumping you use friction, and 1st law of motion. In setting a ball you use projectile motion, and the 3rd law of motion. Spiking a volleyball you use 2nd law of motion, momentum, and unbalanced forces. Will you think of volleyball the same way again or will you use what you learned into a game of volleyball?


Where we mostly got our information is from class, our notes and what we learned in class. We found the pictures on Google images and videos from YouTube.

To see examples of the forces of motion that we mention before, go to these links: