Automobiles Cosmetics Drones Environment Fashion Gaming Music Smartphones Social Media Sports




Mason Crest PO Box 221876 Hollywood, FL 33022 (866) MCP-BOOK (toll-free) • www.masoncrest.com

Copyright © 2022 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher. First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

ISBN (hardback) 978-1-4222-4526-2 ISBN (series) 978-1-4222-4516-3 ISBN (ebook) 978-1-4222-7295-4 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Caissie, David, author. Title: Sports / David Caissie.

Description: Hollywood, Florida : Mason Crest, 2022. | Series: High-interest STEAM | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2020011711 | ISBN 9781422245262 (hardback) | ISBN 9781422272954 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Sports sciences–Juvenile literature. Classification: LCC GV558. C35 2022 | DDC 796–dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020011711 Developed and Produced by National Highlights, Inc. Editor: Andrew Luke Production: Crafted Content, LLC

QR CODES AND LINKS TO THIRD-PARTY CONTENT You may gain access to certain third-party content (“Third-Party Sites”) by scanning and using the QR Codes that appear in this publication (the “QR Codes”). We do not operate or control in any respect any information, products, or services on such Third-Party Sites linked to by us via the QR Codes included in this publication, and we assume no responsibility for any materials you may access using the QR Codes. Your use of the QR Codes may be subject to terms, limitations, or restrictions set forth in the applicable terms of use or otherwise established by the owners of the Third-Party Sites. Our linking to such Third-Party Sites via the QR Codes does not imply an endorsement or sponsorship of such Third-Party Sites or the information, products, or services offered on or through the Third-Party Sites, nor does it imply an endorsement or sponsorship of this publication by the owners of such Third-Party Sites.


Chapter 1: SCIENCE IN SPORTS ���������������������������������������� 7 Chapter 2: TECHNOLOGY IN SPORTS ������������������������������� 21 Chapter 3: ENGINEERING IN SPORTS ������������������������������� 35 Chapter 4: ART IN SPORTS ������������������������������������������������� 49 Chapter 5: MATH IN SPORTS ��������������������������������������������� 63 Further Reading ������������������������������������������������������������������ 76 Internet Resources & Educational Video Links �������������� 77 Index ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 78 Author Biography & Photo Credits ����������������������������������� 80


Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the readers’ understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments, and much more! Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis.


Magnus effect— the force exerted on a rapidly spinning cylinder or sphere moving through air or another fluid in a direction at an angle to the axis of spin physics— science that deals with matter, energy, motion, and force sports science— a multidisciplinary study that analyzes the way to leverage various sciences for improved athletic performance




Most of us don’t think about science when playing soccer, basketball, or any other sport, but the result of every kick, shot, and throw can be attributed to physics . It may sound strange to think of an activity many of us find so exhilarating to be rooted in a subject so cut and dried, but it is. By learning about the physical laws of our world, athletes can leverage valuable information to fine-tune their skill sets in their chosen sport, no matter what it is. BEND IT LIKE MAGNUS Whether curving a ball from the pitcher’s mound of a baseball field or bending a corner kick on the pitch of a soccer game, the guiding principle in physics behind the curving action is called the Magnus effect . When a soccer ball is struck off-center with a kick, the ball is launched with a spinning action that causes the speed of airflow


Many people underestimate the variance in opportunities for careers in sports. Some mistakenly think that if they don’t make it as a professional football player or figure skater, their sports career is over. That is categorically untrue, however. There are several career paths that bridge the gap between being passionate about sports and earning a living in the business. For instance, the study of sports science is a degree program offered by many colleges and universities around the world. Graduates can use their education in this field to secure employment as physical education teachers, dietitians, nutritionists, and personal trainers, among other jobs. A MULTITUDE OF CAREER PATHS

A helpful guide on how to curve a soccer ball with tips for how to bend a kick the right way.



The Magnus effect is at play when a pitcher puts a curve on a softball.

around one half of the ball to be less than the speed of airflow around the other half. The Magnus effect takes place when the airflow reacts in opposite directions around the ball. It explains how a ball kicked just left of center will cause a spinning action that curves the ball to the right, and vice versa. Likewise, the ball will react with topspin if struck on the top, and backspin when struck on the bottom. THE CURVE BALL The Magnus effect plays a pivotal role in any game where the player strikes or throws a ball to achieve a desired outcome. Perhaps an even more famously cited example of this phenomenon is the curve ball in baseball and softball. Sandy Koufax is often credited with having the best curve ball of all time, but others have used it to make a mockery of opposing big leaguers as well.



For instance, Pedro Martinez used it masterfully to delight the hometown crowd at the 1999 Major League Baseball All-Star game in Fenway Park when he buckled the knees of fearsome slugger, Sammy Sosa. Of course, it helps to be able to follow up a bender like that with a 97-mph fastball, which is a whole different set of science that involves leg drive, arm angle, and the whipping action of the ball toward the plate. THE FOREHAND SMASH Tennis fans marvel at how the world’s top-ranked players can manipulate the Magnus effect to achieve a wicked topspin that results in serves approaching 150 miles per hour mph. Although some debate exists over who has clocked the fastest serve on record, Andy Murray has been documented as hitting the ball at a ridiculous 145 mph back in 2007. Throwing a curve ball requires a rotation in the wrist and a snapping action in the forearm, which creates an inherent risk for injury, particularly around the elbow. Therefore, it’s recommended for youth pitchers to exclusively throw fastballs and changeups until the age of fourteen. At that point, a young person’s arm is usually strong enough to withstand the rigors associated with throwing a curve ball. Little League and high school coaches, especially, should monitor the physical abilities of young athletes carefully to ensure they’re not throwing curve balls before their arms can withstand the stress. This accentuates the value of good coaching for young athletes. THE VALUE OF GOOD YOUTH COACHING



Former tennis star Andy Murray was known to hit a wicked topspin serve.



The art of returning such a blistering serve requires lightning-quick physical reactions and a slightly different stroke called the forehand. Rather than doing what seems instinctual, which would be to strike the ball as hard as possible with the center of the racket, a seasoned tennis player swings their racket from a low starting position, then angles the racket to be almost parallel to the approaching ball and swipes at it, finishing with their arms high above the shoulder. A BAG OF TRICKS . . . AND ANGLES Golf is another sport where players, knowingly or not, use the Magnus effect to score well. Amateur golfers react with awe every time they see a professional land a ball past the hole of a green, only to see it actually backup several feet toward the target because of that same scientific principle. The impressive backspin action achieved by a professional golfer is the direct result of where the club strikes the back of the ball. When a golfer hits on the bottom of the ball with a high downward-arching motion, the ball is capable of generating a fierce backspin. This is particularly useful when a player is attempting to land the ball on the green. When a golfer hits the green with no backspin, the ball is likely to bounce wildly off the green and force the player to hit another shot, thus adding a stroke to the player’s final score. If the player is sufficiently skilled at creating backspin, however, he or she can land the ball softly on the green with a high trajectory and enough spin to either keep it from rolling altogether or have it actually back up a few feet. To have the flexibility of hitting soft backspin shots and impressive long drives, participants carry a bag full of clubs to



Players that can control the backspin on their iron shots have a better chance of landing their balls on the green.

accommodate this need to hit a variety of shots throughout the course. A PGA-approved golf bag consists of 14 clubs, which usually breaks down as follows: • Three woods consisting of a driver, 3-wood, and 5-wood • Eight irons consisting of a 3-iron through 9-iron • One putter and two other clubs of the player’s choice (usually a sand wedge and an approach wedge) Any player understands that a driver will hit the ball much farther than a 9-iron. Let’s explore the science behind how that works. One look at a driver reveals a relatively straight clubface, which means that when the ball strikes this area, it will come off at a low launch angle, but with high impact velocity. This means the ball is likely to travel quite far down the fairway, but with minimal altitude. Meanwhile, the 9-iron is designed with a much higher loft angle on the clubface. The typical 9-iron features a loft angle of around 41 degrees, as opposed to the driver, which is usually around 10 degrees.



Golfers carry clubs with different loft angles, which determines the altitude the ball will attain when struck.

When struck with the proper fundamentals of a golf swing, the increased angle on the club face of a 9-iron will result in a much higher ball trajectory, which will cause the ball to travel around 130 yards 0.12 kilometers (km) for a typical amateur golfer, as opposed to an average of 220 yards (0.2 km) with a driver. The sheer power potential of a driver is why players use that club when striking the ball from a tee to travel as far as possible. Consequently, the higher loft of a 9-iron or similarly lofted club makes it a good choice when aiming for the green. SHARP SHOOTING Success in golf often comes down to not only spin mastery and impact velocity but how various actions of the human body work in sync (the swing) to successfully manipulate other aspects of our world (the path of the ball).



Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter creator