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Keywords:

  • biomechanics;
  • curve kick;
  • finite element analysis;
  • football;
  • soccer

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to assess the fundamental characteristics which cause a football to spin in a curve ball kick. The ball impact process was analysed initially with a high speed video camera running at 4500 frames per second to obtain the basic data for a computer simulation model. This simulation model showed suitable agreement although it slightly deteriorated during the latter half of impact. It was noted that rotation of the ball occurs, even if the kinetic coefficient of friction is nearly equal to 0 because of local deformation of the ball during impact around the foot allowing forces to be transmitted to the ball around its axis. The spin of the ball was found to increase with the offset distance between the foot and the axis of the ball and as the kinetic coefficient of friction was increased. The offset distance between the foot and the axis of the ball affects the spin more than the coefficient of friction. Varying the coefficient of friction from 0.0 to 1.0 produces an increase in spin of 13 rad s−1 at most. It was suggested that the most suitable offset distance, which makes the largest ball rotation was around 100 mm. A trade-off was found between the ball speed and spin, for different offset distances.