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Liberty Science Center Presents: Sports Science Behind Kicking a Football

March 3rd, 2014 at 7:15 PM
By Sports Media 101

As part of the new "Gridiron Glory" exhibit appearing at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey — an exhibit featuring a number of items from the Pro Football Hall of Fame — Sports Media 101 will feature a series of articles pertaining to the science behind several sports. Enjoy!

Kicking a football involves kinetic energy and projectile velocity. The rotational kinetic energy of the kicker’s leg rotating at the hip joint is what creates the power that will drive the football over defenders hoping to block his kick and through the uprights. A kicker must concentrate on his strike point (where his foot will make contact with the football) as he is moving towards the targeted spot for the hold. Meanwhile, the ball is being snapped to the holder, who must receive the snap and get the ball down in time for the kicker to execute the kick while 20 people collide just yards away – 11 of them hoping to block the kick. Punts and kickoffs occur under their own sets of circumstances and are very different kicks beyond the actual technique of punting a football or the fact that a kickoff allows the use of a tee. Field goals, kickoffs and punts have differing needs in terms of distance, height and hang time.

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Liberty Science Center Presents: Sports Science Behind Leverage

February 23rd, 2014 at 7:00 AM
By Sports Media 101

As part of the new "Gridiron Glory" exhibit appearing at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey — an exhibit featuring a number of items from the Pro Football Hall of Fame — Sports Media 101 will feature a series of articles pertaining to the science behind several sports. Enjoy!

Leverage is the power gained by using a lever. It essentially makes work easier, increasing the output of a given force. A common example of a lever is a crowbar. The crowbar amplifies the force applied, decreasing the amount of force the user needs to supply. The fulcrum is the point where the lever pivots. This is essential in creating leverage. If the distance from the fulcrum to where the output force is applied is less than the distance from the fulcrum to the input force, the lever will amplify the input force.

In sports, leverage is used to amplify force. Players are looking to apply force to the ball or even other players depending on the sport. The techniques applied in each sport are refined to create the maximum force needed to throw the ball farther and faster or to be able to create a greater impact and physically move another person.

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New York Islanders Await Lubomir Visnovsky Ruling

September 6th, 2012 at 11:29 AM
By PJ Foti

The New York Islanders made a move in the right direction to be competitive this season on draft day, dealing a 2013 second round draft pick to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.

Visnovsky, however, found a loophole in his contract and went to the league about voiding the deal.

He said he was happy as an Islander, but went to the league anyway because he had the right. The NHL scheduled his arbitration hearing for Sept. 4, and expect to come to a decision by Sept. 15.

Arbitrator George Nicolau will have to look back to a 2010 trade between the Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks and rule whether or not the trade permanently eliminated Visnovsky's no-trade clause.

Visnovsky’s agent, Neil Sheehy, who was a witness at the hearing, said Wednesday he thinks the outcome is “50-50.”

Even if Visnovsky wins the case and goes back to the Ducks, he'll likely force a trade. Chances are, one of the teams on his preferred list will be the New York Islanders. He probably just wants to find out whether or not the no-trade clause will still be intact moving forward incase the Isles look to deal him.

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NHL May Abolish Trapezoid with New CBA

September 4th, 2012 at 3:01 PM
By PJ Foti

'New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers - March 25, 2012' photo (c) 2012, Doug Kerr - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Although nothing is exactly close to settled with the new collective bargaining agreement, Sports Illustrated reports that with the if/when the labor dispute is over, a new rule change will likely go into effect. That change is the trapezoid.

The trapezoid was a newly instated rule that came with the CBA in 2005. The trapezoid is located directly behind each goal, and a goaltender is only allowed to possess the puck inside that box if the puck is behind the red line.

The trapezoid prevents a goalie from going into the corners to corral the puck for his defenseman, like we see in Olympic play.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League have both elected to get rid of the trapezoid because of its risk of injury. When the puck is in the corner, a defenseman must race back to beat an offensive player, and usually will receive a big hit for his efforts.

With all the concussions taking place in the NHL, it would be smart for the league to remove the trapezoid so defensemen won't be taking unnecessary and defenseless blows in the corners. Instead, they would only have to go back far enough to receive a pass from their goaltender.

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NHL Issues Second CBA Proposal to Players

August 29th, 2012 at 4:42 PM
By PJ Foti

The NHL has issued it second proposal to the NHL Players' Association on Tuesday when the two sides met in Manhattan. 'NHL Store' photo (c) 2010, Marlon E - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The offer came six weeks after the league's initial proposal, and this one doesn't seem much better for the players like NFL Commissioner Gary Bettman suggested. Instead, it seems as though the NHL will be heading toward yet another lockout, which would start Sept. 15 if a deal is not reached.

According to ESPNNY.com's Katie Strang, the alleged six-year deal would include a phased yearly reduction in re-defined hockey-related revenue for the players from 57 percent (the current share) to 50 percent for the last three years.

The initial proposal wanted the players to scale back immediately down to 43 percent, which wasn't even close. The new deal makes more sense for the players hockey-related revenue wise, but now the league is trying to take away player salaries.

The new deal proposes a fixed salary cap that would look like this:

2012/13 – $58 Million

2013/14 – $60 Million

2014/15 – $62 Million

2015/16 – $64.2 Million

2016/17 – $67.6 Million

2017/18 – $71.1 Million

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