Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 16:02:10 -0600

Author: Cynthia Coutre

Subject: RE: Newton's Law of Gravity Confirmed by Volleyball team's trip to Boulder?


I've been playing VB for about 15 years. The serve -can- have a top spin, but
it's just like a baseball pitch (slider, fast ball, etc)... different types of
serves travel differently. I'd have to think about the rest of what the
article said... ball carrying farther, etc.

One of the teams I was on (in the 'burbs of Chicago) had a tournament in
Boulder one year. The whole team had little tolerance for the altitude
change, so we were all sucking for air after only a small amount of activity.
This threw our bodies and athletic abilities off so much that I'm not sure if
we would have even noticed any changes in the ball's behavior.

Lots of athletic questions coming up lately... right up my alley! *smiles*


>===== Original Message From "Rick Tarara" =====
>I don't know about volleyball, but I know that golf commentators talk about
>playing at altitude (7000 ft) having about a 10% effect on distance. Again,
>obviously a factor of the 'thinner' atmosphere not the miniscule change in
>the gravitational field.
>Richard W. Tarara
>Professor of Physics
>Saint Mary's College
>Notre Dame, Indiana
>Free Physics Educational Software (Win & Mac)
>NEW: Mac versions of Lab Simulations
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Cliff Bettis
>Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2002 10:59 AM
>Subject: Newton's Law of Gravity Confirmed by Volleyball team's trip to
>Here is what appeared in today's student newspaper in an article about the
>VB teams road trip to play in Boulder:
>Adding to the different look could be the high altitude of Boulder, where
>Cook said the thin atmosphere can play tricks on the trained reflexes of his
>"It does affect the ball a lot," Cook said. "The ball carries frther so you
>have to adjust your serving. Jump serving is also not as effective because
>the ball doesn't fall as fast."
>Anybody out there know anything about the intricacies of Volleyball? IS the
>coach misquoted? Obviously we are not going to presume the trained reflexes
>of his players are good enough to serve as g-meters. Is there an aerodynamic
>explanation? Maybe if the ball is served with top spin? Or maybe it just
>travels faster enough that it doesn't have as much time to fall? Seems like
>the ball is served around 50 m/s so that the difference in time wouldn't be
>very great over the size of a VB court.

Cynthia Coutre
Lab Manager, Webmaster
Dept of Physics and Astronomy
Vanderbilt University
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Nashville, TN 37235

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