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How Much Energy Does Dribbling Take?

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earnest thompson

on 5 February 2014

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Transcript of How Much Energy Does Dribbling Take?

How Much Energy Does Dribbling Take?
Playing basketball can be hard work. Players not only constantly run around the court, but just dribbling the basketball takes a lot of effort, too. Why is that? It has to do with how the basketball bounces. When the ball hits the court, its bounce actually loses momentum by transferring some of its energy into a different form. This means that to keep the ball bouncing, players must continually put more energy into the ball. In this sports science project, you will determine how high a basketball bounces on different surfaces relative to the height from which it was dropped.


1.Prepare the wall, or other vertical panel, next to the first surface you want to test so that you can measure the height of the basketball's bounce. a.On the wall next to the surface, use a tape measure and the blue painter's tape to mark every 20 centimeters (cm), starting from the floor and going up to 100 cm. You should end up with five tape marks, as shown in Figure 3 below.
b.Note: You can make the tape marks longer than the ones in Figure 3, so they will be easier to see in the video recording. Remember to put the top edge of the tape at the every 20 cm mark.

•Tape measure, metric
Bounce, bounce, swish! Playing a game of basketball is hard work, and one part of that workout comes from just dribbling the ball. In Figure 1 below, you can see Kobe Bryant, playing on the U.S. Men's Olympic team, dribbling a ball. Why does it take effort to dribble the ball? When a basketball hits the ground (and as it flies through the air), it actually transforms some of its energy to another form. If players do not put enough energy back into the ball, they will not be able to dribble it effectively.
•Painter's tape. This is available at hardware stores or online through sellers
•Video camera. A video camera on a cell phone should work fine.
•Volunteer to videotape the experiments, or a tripod. If you use a tripod, you will need a surface nearby, such as a chair, to set the tripod and camera on.
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