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This past Sunday I was able to play dodgeball in the Dodge For Josh tournament. With our team being American themed, we were The Star Spangled Ballerz. It was very fun and after I played I realized that there was a lot of physics involved in our dodgeball games! The first thing I noticed is how the ball would dropped whenever I would throw it. Part of this is due to air resistance that slowed the ball down, but most of is from gravity pulling the ball down. Neglecting air resistance, gravity should have pulled the dodgeballs we threw down at an acceleration of 9.81 m/s^2. Something else I noticed was the forces exerted when the dodgeballs I threw hit our opponents. As a ball i threw hit the leg of someone on the other team, the ball exerted a force on them the same magnitude as them pushing back on the ball. However the balls were also very squishy which made it so they did not hurt very much. The reason for this is because they could be squished, the force absorbed took a longer amount of time therefore spreading out the force. Similar to an airbag in a car, it decreased the amount of damage done by absorbing some of the force and spreading it out over a longer period of time. Overall I had a very fun time playing dodgeball and I enjoyed connecting it back to physics.


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Hi Isaac -


I appreciate the connections between physics and dodgeball that you are making.  I know that I have seen some pretty intense slow-motion, time-stop videos that demonstrate the collision impacts you describe.  I found one embedded in this prezi - https://prezi.com/nn6xcsmrgdzx/the-physics-of-dodgeball/It is in the "Collision" portion.  There are also interesting connections to your concept of absorbed forces to other sports, including baseball and NASCAR.  One is in favor of the absorption -one not so much.... 

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