It was a crazy crowded March day when the Moore County Raiderettes walk the doors under Murphy Center Stadium, to play in the girls high school basketball state tournament. It was something these girls have worked for to get here together every since they were little and it was finally here.
As the crowds went wild cheering on the teams, they came running through the tunnel out to the floor. They teams both ran out their starting five and then they did a jump ball and both teams jumped for the ball. Then the game begin, each team began to score baskets according to each every specific angle they ran and shot the ball, they had no idea their brains are using math.
The score begins to add up and the time begins to subtract down. Little does each player, coach, and fan in the stands know they are using math during this whole game. Each player is using physics just by running and jumping. Also the players are using geometry when they run at a player at a certain angle , if they run at the goal a certain angle, if they run down the floor at a certain angle, and if they shoot the ball at a certain angle.
The player also is using velocity to start and stop at a certain speed or place on the floor. All of the coaches are using geometry also by trying to figure out what exact angle the players need to run in order to make the play work. The coach also using algebra trying to add how much time they have left to run a certain play and even add and subtracting how far they are ahead of the other team or in which in a case were the team is behind, they will have to subtract how far they are behind.
The coach also uses algebra by calculating how much time is left on the clock in order to run a certain play in time. The scorekeepers are adding and subtracting the score, time in the game, fouls each players have, and even how many time outs each team has. As for all the fans in the stands they are calculating the scores of the game in hopes that their team will pull out a win! Many people don’t see how math is involved with literally almost anything in life.
At first glance, basketball and math have very little in common. While basketball is very popular in America, math has a smaller fan following. However, a closer look at the sport reveals that there is a considerable amount of math in basketball. Pointing out how math is used in basketball might make basketball fanatics like math more and excited about angles and percentages, and help them realize how important math is in everyday life. For young fan of basketball math in basketball is a wonderful opportunity to practice simple skills like counting, addition, and subtraction.
Young kids can add up the points made in every shot to get the team’s total score. Kids can also be asked to use subtraction to determine how many points a team will need to catch up with the leading team, or to win the game. Just even at the simplest level basketball requires you to use math. For older people, It then goes on to have to be able to keep up with how many fouls and how many time outs each team has. Basketball uses very simple math.
However if you look into it more vaguely, you realize how deep and complexed basketball uses math such as things like shot percentage, angles of each shot, angles to run down the floor, and even keeping up with all stats of the players. Also basketball uses things you would take in a math class such as, physics, angles, geometry, and velocity. Many people don’t realize that many people go to school to study math and often times can end up working with some type of math and basketball combined.
Furthermore, math is really used in every concept of basketball, from keeping up to the score, how much time is left in the game, how many people are in the game, keeping up with stats, keeping up with an angle you have to run a play with, and even an angle you have to use weather it is a bank shot or jump shot. Physics is the more upper level of basketball math. It can range from things such as how far you jump, how far you have to shoot your shot, or even how far you have to run. In basketball you use tons and tons of energy.
Starting off you have to be in shape play on a basketball team. Being in shape uses a lot of energy which is what physics is, using energy. Which follows being in shape is lifting weights which tears down your muscles and builds them back up stronger. Once you are in shape you get to play the game which involves a lot of contact and lots of running and jumping.
You have to be able to run down the court and also jump for a shot or to try to stop someone from shooting. All of these things uses energy which is what physics is. Jumping is a major component in the physics behind basketball. On Real World Physics problems online it states, “When a basketball player jumps in the air to make a shot he can appear to be suspended in mid-air during the high point of the jump.
This is a consequence of projectile motion. When an object is thrown in the air it will spend a large percentage of time in the top part of the throw. A basketball player can jump as much as 4 feet in the air (vertically). And the higher he jumps the greater the hang time (the total time he is airborne), and the greater the time he will appear suspended in mid-air during the high point of the jump.
Typically, there is a horizontal and vertical component in the jump velocity at take-off. The magnitude of the vertical component of the velocity at take-off will determine the time the player spends airborne (since gravity acts in the vertical direction and will act on the player to bring him back down).
Thus, the vertical component of velocity, after take-off, will change with time. The horizontal component of velocity remains constant throughout the jump since it is not affected by gravity. The figure below shows the typical trajectory a basketball player might travel as he makes a jump.” Basketball also can be summed up in a bunch of angles.
One example can be the angle in which you shot the ball which causes a specific back spin. Backspin is used by players to improve their chances of getting the basketball into the net. When an object is spinning and bounces off something, it will have a tendency to bounce in the direction of the spin. This is useful for players who bounce the ball off the backboard, or the back of the net.
The resulting bounce will more likely send the ball downwards into the net. Without backspin the ball is more likely to bounce away from the net. The angle in which the player shoots the ball is whether they make the shot or not. In general even the way a a player runs down the floor at a specific angle to set up a play can determine success of the play working or not. Each player has a specific angle they have to run down the floor each time.
Furthermore this follows shooting a shot at a specific angle. A prime example will be a jump shot. If you want to make a jump shot you have to angle your shot to hit the top of the square above the goal. As well as a lay up you have to also use that square but you are a little bit closer to the goal so you might not have to use as much energy to shoot that shot.
If you have to shoot a free throw you just have to shoot the shot in a straight life but have to angle your back spin. If you are to shoot a three pointer depending where you shoot it around the arch is how you have to angle your shot and this also goes along with shooting a jump shot.
Basketball also uses velocity. Acceleration is all the time used in basketball. To begin with how fast a person takes off running down the court depends on who gets there first. Also how fast people stop and turn and go again depends on if they can beat their defender or not. How fast the ball takes to go between the legs and stop. How fast a ball can bounce behind the back and come back up.
When I played basketball we always had to do a drill called “stops, starts, and turns” Another example of velocity is you could be running very fast and have to stop and turn around because the ball got turned over. Your velocity changes throughout the game. During the game of basketball you are always speeding up and slowing down. It honestly can be the key of basketball. Depending on how fast you slow down and speed up can potentially make you better than your opponent and win the game.
Algebra is used alot in basketball as well, even basic things. To begin with you have to work out with means you have to calculate how much weight you lift and what your max of how much weight you lifts percentage is. You also have to calculate things like time on the clock, foul of each player, timeouts of each team, and the points on the scoreboard. Often times in college and NBA and WNBA you even have to go as far as putting each individual players and fouls on the scoreboard so someone has to keep but with adding that.
Furthermore you will have to add up sprints and then even figure out how long it takes you to run the sprints. You also have to add together how many plays you can run each quarter and half. You also have to calculate how long it takes you to run a certain play in case you need to run it on a buzzer beater. In basketball you don’t realize just how much you are just simply adding and subtracting things basically every move you make on the court.
Everything you put together is adding and everything you try to take away from something (example: taking a player away from a play and adding a new one) To sum it up, math is used in almost every second in of basketball whether anyone realizes it or not. Not only basketball but everything in this world involves math and I really didn’t realize until I researched it.