Sports Engineering

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 47–55 | Cite as

The effect of surface geometry on soccer ball trajectories

Original Article

Abstract

Two different measurement techniques are used to examine the effect of surface geometry on soccer ball trajectories. Five professional players are observed using high-speed video when taking curling free kicks with four different soccer balls. The input conditions are measured and the average launch velocity and spin are found to be approximately 24 m/s and 106 rad/s. It is found that the players can apply more spin (~50%) on average to one ball, which has a slightly rougher surface than the other balls. The trajectories for the same four balls fired at various velocities and spin rates across a sports hall using a bespoke firing device are captured using high-speed video cameras, and their drag and lift coefficients estimated. Balls with more panels are found to experience a higher lift coefficient. The drag coefficient results show a large amount of scatter, and it is difficult to distinguish between the balls. Using the results in a trajectory prediction programme it is found that increasing the number of panels from 14 to 32 can significantly alter the final position of a 20 m-curling free kick by up to 1 m.

Keywords

Soccer Sports balls Aerodynamics Trajectory Surface roughness 

References

  1. 1.
    Newton I (1672) New theory of light and colours. Philos Trans R Soc Lond A 80:3075–3087Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    FIFA (2006) Testing and certification of footballs—International Matchball Standard. http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/afdeveloping/pitchequip/ims_sales_doc_05_2006_13411.pdf. Accessed 5 April 2010
  3. 3.
    Barber S, Chin SB, Carré MJ (2009) Sports ball aerodynamics: a numerical study of the erratic motion of soccer balls. J Comput Fluids 38:1091–1100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Barber S, Seo K, Asai T, Carré MJ (2007) Experimental investigation of the effects of surface geometry on the flight of non-spinning soccer balls. In: Fuss FK, Subic A, Ujihashi S (eds) The impact of technology on sport II. Taylor & Francis/Balkema, The Netherlands, pp 397–402Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Alaways LW, Hubbard M (2001) Experimental determination of baseball spin and lift. J Sports Sci 19:349–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Taniguchi T, Miyakazi T, Shimizu T, Himeno R (2005) Measurement of aerodynamic forces exerted on baseballs using a high-speed video camera. In: Subic A, Ujihashi S (eds) The impact of technology on sport. Australasian Sports Technology Alliance, Japan, pp 23–26Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cairns, TW (2004) Modelling lift and drag forces on a volleyball. In: Hubbard M, Mehta RD, Pallis JM (eds) The engineering of sport 5: proceedings of the 5th international conference on the engineering of sport, ISEA, UK, pp 97–102Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Deprá P, Brenzikofer R, Goes M (1998) Fluid mechanics analysis in volleyball services. In: Riehle HJ, Vieten M (eds) 16 International symposium on biomechanics in sports, ISB, pp 101–106Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chikaraishi T, Alaki Y, Maehara K, Shimosaka H, Fukazawa F (1990) A new method on measurement of trajectories of a golf ball. In: Cochran AJ (ed) Science and golf: proceedings of the world scientific congress of golf, SPON product, pp 193–198Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Zayas JM (1985) Experimental determination of C d of a tennis ball. Am J Phys 54(7):622–625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Asai T, Carré MJ, Akatsuka T, Haake SJ (2002) The curve kick of a football I: impact with the foot. Sports Eng 5:183–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Carré MJ, Asai T, Akatsuka T, Haake SJ (2002) The curve kick of a football II: flight through the air. Sports Eng 5:193–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Goff EJ, Carré MJ (2009) Trajectory analysis of a soccer ball. Am J Phys 77(11):1021–1027CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Goff EJ, Carré MJ (2010) Soccer ball lift coefficients via trajectory analysis. Eur J Phys 31:775–784CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bray K, Kerwin DG (2003) Modelling the flight of a soccer ball in a direct free kick. J Sports Sci 21:75–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bray K, Kerwin DG (2004) Modelling the long throw in soccer using aerodynamic drag and lift. In: Hubbard M, Mehta RD, Pallis JM (eds) The engineering of sport 5. ISEA, UK, pp 56–61Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kerwin DG, Bray K (2004) Quantifying the trajectory of the long soccer throw. In: Hubbard M, Mehta RD, Pallis JM (eds) The engineering of sport 5. International Sports Engineering Association, UK, pp 63–68Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kirkup L (1994) Experimental methods. Wiley, BrisbaneGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Carré MJ, Goodwill SR, Haake SJ (2005) Understanding the effect of seams on the aerodynamics of an association football. J Mech Eng Sci 219(7):657–666Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Sports Engineering Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ETH Zürich, MLJ24ZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations