Saturday, September 3, 2011

Football is Science - EARN A REWARD !

It’s 4th down, you are deep in your own territory – time to PUNT!

Coaches recruit punters who can kick the ball to maximize hang-time and range.  Hang time is the duration from the moment ball is kicked until it is caught or it strikes the ground.  Hang time is measured in seconds.  Range is the distance the ball flies downfield and is measured in yards.

A good punter wants to kick the ball as far as he can (range) and also give his own teammates plenty of time to get downfield (hang time) to tackle the receiver.   All of this is determined by two factors – the speed of the ball off the kicker’s foot and the angle of the kick. 

BUT… THERE IS A TRADEOFF – kicking the ball straight up might maximize hang time but the ball would not travel far down the field.  Kicking it low and far would maximize range but hang time might be very low.   A great punter (or golfer, or baseball pitcher, or basketball player) can make small adjustments to get the best results for the situation.

Do some research, take some observations, EARN A REWARD !

(1) Get a blank form from Mrs D to record your observations or download this one Here's the Form and print yourself
(2) Watch some football this week.  Games are on Sat, Sun, Mon nite and Thurs nite.
(3) Watch at least three punts.   Record (on your form) the distance in yards and the hang time for each punt.  (Announcers will always give the distance – sometimes they give hang time.  It’s okay if you use your own watch to measure hang time.)
(4) Go to the dictionary and lookup the word “projectile”.  Record the definition on your form.
(5) Answer the question – Is a punted football a projectile?
(6) List some other examples of projectiles