Rugby Ball

834 Words4 Pages
Omar Fahmy
Ms. Mao
Physics Behind the “Pill”

Research Question: How do the physics of a rugby ball suit the specific needs and characteristics of the game?


General Information: Rugby, a sport not known to many, and mainly prevalent in the southern hemisphere, is a game known for its teamwork, cooperation, agility, and violence. The game requires one and his team to continuously pass the ball side to side, or backwards, only. With tackling being very much part of the game, the passing to be done must be executed in a very fast manner, which is where the specific physics of the rugby ball, taking the shape of the prolate spheroid, come to play very importantly. Kinematics is seen in almost every
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When the ball is being passed through the air, a strong applied force is applied to the ball in order for it to soar through the air to the next player. Like any object thrown, a rugby ball will encounter friction in the form of air resistance as well. In order to counter act this, rugby players use physics, by applying a strong spiral to the throw, combined with the rugby ball’s prolate shape, which then allows the ball to quickly zoom to the next player, despite the balls large and awkward…show more content…
Newton’s first law states that an object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion. With this being said, a rugby kick perfectly utilizes the first law. While the ball is placed upright ready for the kick, it may remain at rest like that, until a force is acted onto it. Once the kicker kicks, hence applying FA, the ball will adopt a projectile trajectory into the sky, and would remain that way flying if it could, if it wasn’t for the force of gravity pulling it back down. Newton’s second law states that the acceleration of an object is dependent on the net force acting on the object, and the mass of that object. A more accurate account of Newton’s 2nd law in rugby applied would be in the common tackle. The bigger the player hence means more mass, the harder the tackle. Likewise however, the more acceleration gained, also the harder the tackle. A smaller player can still take a bigger player down if he is running towards him with a greater force, which is not just reliant on the mass of the player, but also his acceleration (Force = mass x acceleration). Newton’s third law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If a rugby ball is spiraled at a player who does not catch the ball at a force of 45 N, the ball will merely bounce off the players chest like it would hit a wall, for most likely that player had a force of at least 150
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