The Physics of Football

Every year, faculty and staff at Florida Tech team up to design an educational poster that is then provided for free to high school science and math classrooms. This year, our poster is called “Gridiron Science,” and it tackles the physics of football.

There are hundreds of web sites devoted to the physics of football, covering pretty much every aspect of the game. It’s amazing—there’s almost nothing taking place during a football game that physics doesn’t explain.

But what we found most interesting is how a better understanding of physics can actually help you improve your game as a player! There’s a reason quarterbacks are taught to spin the ball when they throw it and why “low man wins” is a blocker’s credo. That reason? Physics.

The laws of physics are why…

  • Tackling a tall guy is easier than knocking down a small guy
  • Training often includes learning to spin like a ballet dancer
  • You should always try to turn a player out of the way instead of push him
  • Football practice includes lots of repetitive training
  • Helmets and pads dampen even the hardest hit
  • It’s important to do repetitive drilling

If you’d like to bone up on your knowledge (and skills), check out some of these resources, which we thought were pretty awesome:

From our perspective, learning about the physics of football is most definitely a touchdown! And did you know that not only can you study math and physics at Florida Tech—but now you can also play football!

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One Comment

  1. I am a high school physics teacher and I would like a copy of this poster for my classroom – and any other posters you would have! Thank you.

  2. I’m a high school special education teacher and I teach math and science and would love your posters in my room.

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