
Curveball vs. Fastball
Answers


In CurveBall,
set the Location to Cleveland,
choose a Right Handed pitcher and set
the Speed to 85 mph and the
Spin, Release , and Angle to 0.0.
Step 1.
These initial conditions show a fast ball. What
happens to the fastball with 0.00 release spot and a 0 release
angle? The ball goes straight over the
plate.
Step 2.
Repeat Step 1 but this time make the ball curve by making it Spin 500 rpm.
Will the umpire call this
a ball or a strike? Why? The ball curves
off to the right of the plate (as viewed from behind the plate). This is a strike;
it is over the plate but not down the center.
Step 3.
Increase the Spin to 1200 rmp. Is it a strike or a ball?
This is a ball, the ball passes outside the plate.
Step 4.
Complete the chart below using CurveBall setting the spin to 1200 rpm for the curve ball.
Record the distance from the center of theplate as displayed on the screen.
Above the plate should be positive distances, and
below the plate should be negative distances. Record the distances
for the given release spot. Repeat this for a Left Hander
and record your results.
Answers will vary. Samples are shown
below:
Release Spot (x)

Curveball  Left hander (y)

Fastball  Left hander (y)

Curveball  Right hander (y)

Fastball  Right hander (y)

0.00

11 in

0 in

11 in

0 in

1.00 ft

0 in

12 in

0in

12 in

2.00 ft

12 in

24 in

12 in

24 in

3.00 ft

24 in

36 in

24 in

36 in

4.00 ft

36 in

48 in

36 in

48 in

Step 5.
Using four different colored pens graph the information on the
graph provided. In each of the graphs the Release Spot will be
x.
Answers will vary, depending on the
answers in Step 4. A sample is shown below:
Conclusions:
 a) How do the positions of a fastball thrown by a left hander
and a right hander compare? The
left hander's are all negative and the right handers are all positive.
Both form a straight line, but with opposite slopes.
b) How do the graphs show you
this? The graphs are
symmetric about Y = 0.
 a) How do the positions of a curveball thrown by a left hander
and a right hander compare?
They are also straight lines, with the same slope as the fastball, but they
are displaced. The right hand curve ball is lower than than the fast ball,
the left hand curve ball is higher than the fast ball. To get the ball over
the plate (Y=0) you have to release the ball at some distance from the center
of the rubber ( X > 0) .
b) How do the graphs show you this?
The graphs cross Y=0 at the same point.
 Consider yourself as a hitter.
a) Are you right handed or left handed?
Answers will vary.
b) Which pitcher would have the more difficult fastball
for you to hit? Why?
The same side pitcher (right for right .. left for left) will throw a
fastball closer to your body than the opposite side.
c) Which pitcher would have the more difficult curveball
for you to hit? Why? For a right
handed batter with a left handed pitcher, the curveball curves
away from the batter. For a left handed batter with a right handed
pitcher, the curveball curves away from the
batter.
