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The Science of Soccer Paperback – May 24, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0750308137 ISBN-10: 0750308133 Edition: 0th

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Frequently Bought Together

The Science of Soccer + The Physics of Soccer: Using Math and Science to Improve Your Game + The Science of Soccer: A Bouncing Ball and a Banana Kick (Barbara Guth Worlds of Wonder Science Series for Young Readers)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing (May 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750308133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750308137
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


John Wesson has written here a unique book showing great skill in mathematics and physics, and a perfect knowledge of soccer and of its rules. This book should be read by anybody with a basic scientific background interested in ball games.
-Marcel Lesieur, Journal of Turbulence, Vol. 3

The Science of Soccer is a pleasant addition to a long line of sports-related books by English authors, each of whom wants to explain the sound physical reasons why things happen in a particular game … Wesson reaches into territory that few such books have explored before, including some thoughts on rudimentary game theory, on strategy, and on the economics of the game today. Those parts make interesting reading.
-John D. McCullen, Physics Today, June 2003

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Format: Paperback
This work illustrates many scientific principles (especially physics) related to the playing of soccer. However, highly-technical and quantitative analyses, pertinent to each chapter, are located in the final chapter. This enables the quick reading of the book without the immediate need to wade through a great deal of mathematical detail.

There are chapters which deal with the bounce of the ball; the kick as an expression of angular acceleration (from both the hip and knee) that drives the foot to a great speed prior to its collision with the soccer ball; basic physics of throwing, heading, and catching; the soccer ball in flight (including the effects of wind), etc. A latter section of the book factors such things as the probability of success in winning games, etc.

One of the most useful parts of the book, for me, are the graphs of range of travel as a function of the speed of the kicked soccer ball. (pp. 61-62). Two angles of kick (relative to the horizontal) are given: 45 degrees and 30 degrees. Two curves each are included: a theoretical one that neglects air resistance and a real one which includes air resistance. The graphs can serve as a useful means for estimating the speeds of kicked soccer balls (by school PE teachers, soccer coaches, etc.) without the need for specialized equipment.
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