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Calculating baseball pitch speed

  1. Apr 30, 2015 #1
    My brothers and I want to calculate our pitch speed. We have a simplified formula: M = (D/T) x (3,600/5,280). This will obviously have a large margin of error, but we'll try our best to accommodate. I need to know how to calculate air resistance into the equation. Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2015 #2
    State what your variables are and their units.
     
  4. Apr 30, 2015 #3
    M = Miles Per Hour
    D = Distance Traveled
    T = Time for ball to reach home plate
    3,600 = seconds in an hour
    5,280 = feet in a mile
    Conversion ratio: 0.682
    For example: (60.6 (feet)/0.50 (time to home plate)) x (3,600 (seconds per hour)/5,280 (feet per mile)) x (121.2 (feet per second)/0.682) = 82.65 miles per hour
     
  5. Apr 30, 2015 #4
    Well if you are measuring both of these then you have air resistance and everything else in your equation already.
     
  6. Apr 30, 2015 #5
    I took the OP to mean that, given how the velocity will decrease during flight, his pitch-to-catch-distance over flight-time will give him an underestimate of the speed when it left the pitcher's hand. So, taking into account the air drag would give him a better estimate.

    Brett, have you seen this site? https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/airplane/balldrag.html
     
  7. Apr 30, 2015 #6

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    There's an App for that! :smile:

    http://appadvice.com/appguides/show/baseball-radar-gun-apps

    .
     
  8. Apr 30, 2015 #7
    Thank you for the information! I will get to work as soon as the semester concludes. And berkeman, haha, I have seen those apps, but I would suspect those to have little accuracy - even less accuracy than doing it manually, even with my undoubtedly high margin of error! Haha!
     
  9. Apr 30, 2015 #8

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Does anybody know (I couldn't find it quickly with Google) -- When you get a speed number out of a baseball radar gun, is it the max or average speed? I'd guess it's the max...
     
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