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Physics Question about throwing a Football

  1. Aug 29, 2010 #1
    I'm having a debate with a friend over this concerning throwing a football.

    I have two friends. We went out to throw catch some passes. They are both QBs. On like a 20 yard out route, Guy A hums that ball in there and I can hardly catch it, the velocity is so aggressive it hurts my hands. Guy B its not like that, its a softer throw with a bit of wobble and I have no trouble catching it. I told Guy B that Guy A has a much stronger arm than him and he disagreed, so he said lets have a contest to see who can throw the ball the FARTHEST. They both threw the ball 62 yards in the air. We measured it. That was their maximum distance.

    Guy B thinks he proved his point that his arm is equally as strong as Guy A, but I said then Guy A has much more velocity, and he said that isn't possible because in order to throw the same maximum distance that means they have the same velocity. What do you guys think? Is there something in this equation we are missing?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2010 #2
    If both throws went the same distance they had the same velocity.
  4. Aug 29, 2010 #3
    this is not true. they might have thrown it at different angles.
  5. Aug 29, 2010 #4
    also has nothing to do with how "strong" you are.
  6. Aug 29, 2010 #5
    What's missing is the fact that you are describing two entirely different time-line scenarios.
    That is, just because the two QB's can maximally throw the football the same distance(2nd scenario) does not mean that they were both using their maximum throw velocity in the first scenario, as maximum distance was not a requirement in the first scenario, rather, you catching the ball.
  7. Aug 29, 2010 #6
    I hope that made sense.
    If you are 20 yards out, and there is no defense around you at all, there is no need to "bullet" the football to you. In fact, you might not be able to hold onto the catch.
    On the other hand, if you are 20 yards out and surrounded by defense, there IS certainly a need to "bullet" the ball.
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