How Are Footballs Made?

Football is the most popular sport on the planet. In 2006 FIFA reported that there were 265 million players registered to one of its member associations, and this doesn’t include the countless players who have the occasional kick around at the park. Around 40 million footballs are sold each year around the world, making the […]

Is tennis spinning out of control?

Yesterday, the Sunday Times reported that some professional tennis players (allegedly) spray their strings with silicon to help them generate spin (Link to report in The Australian due to Times’ paywall). Spin plays an important role in Tennis, top-spin generates a vertical force which cause the ball to dip, this allows a player to keep […]

How fast is Usain Bolt?

Introduction Four years ago Usain Bolt from Jamaica was pretty much unknown, but since then he has become, arguably, the most famous athlete in the world. In 2010 I wrote an article attempting to predict how far he would jump in the long jump. The fame surrounding Bolt is so great that this article quickly […]

Is sport good for us?

“Is sport good for us” was the question posed to me for my first blog article for Engineering Sport. Not exactly an ‘easy ice breaker’, but I thought I’d have a good go at it. So, where to start? First, I think it’d be a good idea to differentiate (at least a little) between sport […]

Humidity doesn’t affect cricket ball swing

This July sees the next biannual conference on Sports Engineering, held at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. The conference always has a lot of interesting papers on the subject of engineering and technology in sport. Thanks to the internet age, the papers at this conference are also available online for anyone to read. Before the […]

How can we cycle faster?

At the museum we have a great exhibit with two racing bikes along a simulated course; this has sparked a range of questions on the topic of cycling, from the physics of riding a bike to the most popular question; how can we cycle faster? How do we master the art of balancing on two […]

How long can we hold our breath for?

As something most of us will have wondered when swimming, the next blog post in our ‘ask a Sports Engineer!’ series looks at how long we’re able to hold our breath for underwater. Despite what most people would think, humans are actually quite well suited to being underwater, as after all, we spend the first […]

Why are the South Americans so good at football?

This is a question often posed by football fans as it seems to be a regular trend that the most impressive footballers in the world are from Southern America. You can strike up a debate with anyone about who the greatest ever football player is and you can almost guarantee the following three names will […]

Indoor skydiving as an Olympic sport?

I was lucky enough recently to visit a relative in California with a house above the San Francisco Bay.  How excited was I when I realised I could see NASA Ames’ Moffett Field across the bay?  This houses Hangar One, an old airship hanger like something out of Flash Gordon, and the World’s largest wind […]

Do minimalist running shoes help prevent injury?

Continuing with our guest blog submissions, we’ve got a great new post looking at the minimalist running shoe craze. As most runners are probably aware, minimalist shoes are currently all the rage. Proponents of these shoes believe that they are beneficial for both performance and health. Opponents, on the other hand, contend that these shoes […]