So I figured it was time I do a sports post, since it seems to be a super popular blog topic recently and I can't think of anything else to do at the moment. Time for the physics of volleyball!
Jumping right into it (haha volleyball puns ), I'll start off with the serving part. So when you serve the ball over the net, it becomes a projectile whose distance is dictated by the force at which you hit it. Assuming there is no initial vertical velocity and you hit the ball straight over the net, you can find the initial velocity by timing how long it takes for the ball to hit the ground (though that shouldn't happen in an actual game...) and measuring the distance it traveled.
You could use the kinematics equation x = Vot + .5at^2 to find the initial horizontal velocity, which would also be the final horizontal velocity since a = 0. Then you could use the equation Vf = Vo + at to find the final vertical velocity for the ball, as you know the acceleration due to gravity is -9.8m/s and the initial vertical velocity is 0.
Another physics-related concept in volleyball involves diving for the ball. When you dive to the side or forward for a dig, you exert a force down on the ground at an angle to push you in that direction. Since volleyball is a fast-paced sport and involves split-second decisions and actions, you would have less than a second to recognize where the ball was going and exert this force. But the force would have to be large enough to propel you to the ball; so you would exert a force of great magnitude over a very small amount of time. This would be your impulse: average force times time, or Ft.
So those are just a few of the physics concepts related to volleyball! Hope you enjoyed!
Until next time,