
Did You Catch My Drift?
Activity


If so instructed by your teacher, print out a worksheet
page for these problems.
Explanation:
Doug is the varsity catcher for the Cleveland Heights Tigers as
well as an ace physics student. Heights is down to their last out in
the LEL championship game. With the bases loaded, and the Tigers up
by one, this last out is for the "whole ball of wax." Tommy, a strong righthander, has been
losing it so we must pitch with his strengths. Doug calls for his
curveball inside to a right handed batter. Tommy throws strike one. Two
consecutive fastballs are missed, one high and one low. With a two
and one call, the next curveball catches the
outside corner for a strike. One more strike and the
game will be over. Doug asks for time out and walks to the mound. He
talks to Tommy for a few seconds. Tom nods. Doug walks back behind
the plate, crouches, and collects strike three. Based on what you
know about baseball movement from CurveBall, answer the following
questions.
Step 1.
What factors are considered when a ball is pitched?
Step 2.
Using
CurveBall,
set the parameters that represent the curveball
inside and the curveball outside. Identify those in the
table on the worksheet.

CURVEBALL INSIDE

CURVEBALL OUTSIDE

Speed



Spin



Side Force



Step 3.
Give a detailed written explanation of the differences between the
pitches that Tommy has thrown.
Curveball Inside:
Curveball Outside:
Fastball:
Step 4.
Give a mathematical explanation of each pitch that Tommy has
thrown.
Curveball Inside:
Curveball Outside:
Fastball:
Step 5.
Based on your knowledge of CurveBall, what
could Doug have said to Tommy?
Step 6.
Demonstrate your explanations to a friend using
CurveBall.
BONUS:
If Tommy is able to throw a Screwball (reverse spin), what are the differences
that will be found in the mathematical parameters?
