Physics in Lacrosse
Mentor:Seamus Lagan, Professor of Physics, Whittier College
Video analysis using Dartfish was used in an investigation of a lacrosse shot in an attempt to determine the optimal placement of a player¹s hands on the stick to help players optimize the velocity of their shot. During a lacrosse shot two forces are exerted on the stick, one from each hand. In order to calculate the forces, position measurements were made on a video of a typical lacrosse shot and the data was analyzed to calculate the position of the center of mass of the stick as a function of time. The angle the stick makes with the horizontal axis was also calculated. By fitting polynomial functions to the linear and angular data, velocities and accelerations were then calculated by differentiation. All velocities and accelerations (linear and rotational) had maxima at the release point of the ball as expected. The forces that were applied by the hands of the player can then be modeled using these acceleration values.