With Euro 2004 fast approaching, all eyes will be fixed on David Beckham’s right foot, with the fervent hope that he will kick the perfect free kick. Now researchers at Loughborough University have invented the world’s first device to capture this magic formula – in an instant.
To kick the perfect free kick, the ball must travel with sufficient speed and elevation to clear any defensive wall, whilst spinning fast enough to swerve away from the goalkeeper and into the goal. Until now it has not been possible to simultaneously record all of this vital information. But thanks to unique patented technology developed at Loughborough, footballers will know within seconds the minute detail of the ball’s flight characteristics.
The University’s Sports Technology Research Group (STRG) has been concerned with measuring the flight characteristics of balls for a number of years. Professor Roy Jones, Head of Loughborough’s Sports Technology Research Group and Chris Sumpter, a former researcher now working as a consultant originated a method of measuring golf ball spin by using an arrangement of dots placed around the ball surface.
Anna Seddon | Loughborough University
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