Softball The Science of Cassaundra Hisch EDUC 373.002 Fall 2009 Sandrick
Over the summer, my coworkers participated in a co-ed softball league. Every Monday night I went to the games and took pictures. I began to wonder why some players could get a hit every time, while others' attempts got them out, so I decided to take a look at the science behind the hits. My Experience
What's the best way to hit the softball? What happens when the softball hits the bat? How much work is required to hit a home run? How does a bat work? QUESTIONS
Forces of Nature
5.3.11-Investigate and describe that changes in speed or direction of motion of an object are caused by forces. Understand that the greater the force, the greater the change in motion and the more massive an object, the less effect a given force will have.
5.3.13-Demonstrate that Earth's gravity pulls any object toward it without touching it.
5.5.1-Make precise and varied measurements and specify the appropriate units.
What's the best way to hit a softball?
The best way to hit a softball, is to hit it off the “sweet spot” of the bat.
The “sweet spot” is the part of the bat where the vibrations through the bat cancel each other out. The hitter feels no shaking or stinging when the ball strikes the sweet spot.
Most of the energy of the swing is therefore transferred to the ball, instead of in the bat.
“ To find one of the 'sweet spots' on a baseball bat, hold the bat, hanging down, loosely between your thumb and index finger, just below the knob on the bat's handle. Have a friend tap the bat gently with a hammer, starting at the fat end and moving toward the handle. (You can also do it yourself, although it's easier and more fun with a friend.) You should feel a vibration in your fingers whenever the bat is struck, except when the "node" is hit; then you'll feel nothing. You may also notice a slightly different sound when the node is struck.”