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Curveball vs. Fastball
Activity If so instructed by your teacher, print out a worksheet page for these problems.


Explanation:

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?

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?

Step 3.

Now increase the Spin to 1200 rpm. Is it a ball or a strike?

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 the plate that is 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.

Release Spot (x)
Curveball - Left hander (y)
Fastball - Left hander (y)
Curveball - Right hander (y)
Fastball - Right hander (y)
0.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5.

Using four different colored pens graph the information on the graph provided in the worksheet. In each of the graphs the Release Spot will be x.

Graph #1--Use color # 1 and Curveball -Left hander as y.

Graph #2--Use color #2 and Fastball - Left hander as y.

Graph #3--Use color #3 and Curveball - Right hander as y.

Graph #4--Use color #4 and Fastball - Right hander as y.

 

Conclusions:

  1. a) How do the positions of a fastball thrown by a left hander and a right hander compare?

    b) How do the graphs show you this?  

  2. a) How do the positions of a curveball thrown by a left hander and a right hander compare? 

    b) How do the graphs show you this? 

  3. Consider yourself as a hitter.

    a) Are you right handed or left handed?

    b) Which pitcher would have the more difficult fastball for you to hit? Why?

    c) Which pitcher would have the more difficult curveball for you to hit? Why?


Related Pages:
Standards
Worksheet
Lesson Index
Aerodynamics Index

 

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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, Jun 12 04:47:14 PM EDT 2014

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