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Why does my netball go the wrong way?

  1. Oct 26, 2016 #1
    You know when you kick a football/soccer ball you can make it curl to the left if you kick with your right foot?
    I tried doing that with a netball and much to my surprise, it curled to the right.
    Does anyone know what has happened?
    I did this in low wind conditions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    ASFAIK it is not a matter of which foot you use, but what rotation the ball gets.
  4. Oct 26, 2016 #3
    So when my foot hits the side of the football, it starts spinning anticlockwise and curls in the same direction. Yet when I kick the netball, it spins anticlockwise and curls in the opposite direction. Doesn't make sense.
  5. Oct 26, 2016 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    "Kicking the ball" is far from being a safe condition to make an educated guess.
    E.g. whether the kicked ball curls to the right or to the left also depends on which part of the foot you kick it with, i.e. the initial rotation. Another example is a golf ball. Players can play hooks to both sides, independent of whether they are right or left handed.

    The curl itself depends on the ball's surface, which isn't smooth. Especially the joints play a crucial role, because they cause tiny turbulences which in return cause differences in air resistance on each side of the ball, which at last causes the curl.

    So my favorite explanation is: Without additional information on the starting conditions, it's primary the joints and secondary the surface structure, which are typically both different on a football and a netball. Also think about the fact, that American football "balls" have joints along the direction it is thrown. This also explains, why extra points or long distance kicks aren't as easy as one might think.
  6. Oct 26, 2016 #5
    so does this apply to soccer balls
  7. Oct 26, 2016 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, especially there - at least as far as I remember a TV documentation on this subject.
    Not that this is a trustful source on a scientific level, however, it provides a reasonable imagination.
    I've used football = soccer and American football ≠ football.
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