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The Physics of Spikeball



One of the only games that I think I'll never get sick of playing is Spikeball. Spikeball is a new sport similar to both volleyball and foursquare. Two two person teams gather around a circular net. A point begins when a player serves a Spikeball by hitting the ball on the net so that it ricochets to the other team. The opposing team has three hits between them to hit the ball back on the net. If they do hit the ball back on the net, then the other team gains possession of the ball, meaning that they then have three hits between them to hit the ball back on the net. When a team does not hit the ball back on the net, the other team scores. Pretty cool, right? The game also involves physics, specifically Newton's laws of motion. In serving a ball, a player applies a force on the ball that causes the ball to accelerate and hit the net. The greater the applied force, the greater the ball will accelerate. Newton's third law of motion is demonstrated when the ball hits the net and ricochets off. Every action force has an equal and opposite reaction force - when the ball hits the net, the ball applies a force to the net, causing the net to react by applying an equal and opposite force on the ball. To get a better idea of how the game works, watch the tutorial video below.



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