Yale Researcher Explores The Best Throwing Using Physics [Video]By Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
A researcher from Yale University has investigated what type of throw is the most accurate. The results are interesting and are expected to lead to a deeper understanding of how to make better throws which is a skill especially useful for various physical sports.
While throwing may seem as a simple task, it is extremely complex. The thrown object is also subject to a trade-off between speed and accuracy.
The study, which was recently published in the journal "Royal Society Open Science," explored the origins of the speed and compared it against the accuracy trade-off with a series of calculations focusing on the physics of throwing.
Lead author Madhusudhan Venkadesan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering & materials science in Yale, said that the study found that faster throws are less accurate. This comes even when a person is good at controlling the release at all speeds.
It was noted that, after the ball has been launched, there's nothing that the thrower can do but to see what the consequences are for the ball in terms of the throw. Venkadesan worked with L. Mahadevan at Harvard University for the project.
Yale News reported that, in fast throws, the ball travels in an almost straight line. Because of this, errors in the angle at the ball's release are amplified while small errors in controlling speed have no effect.
With slow throws, it's the opposite. Small errors in the angle of release have little effect. Venkadesan added that the slowest arc is usually the most accurate, stating that they have compared their calculations to data of people throwing into wastebaskets as well as dart throwing.
The Guardian noted that this underarm technique of throwing is nicknamed the "granny style." It was made popular by retired NBA player Rick Barry, who was described as one of the most effective shooters of all time.
His 90 percent free throw record ranked first in NBA history. He retired in 1980.