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Around the World: The Geometry of Shooting Baskets *

Time Required Short (2-5 days)
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.


Take shots at a set distance from the basket, but systematically vary the angle to the backboard. For a basic project: How do you think your success rate will vary with angle? Draw a conclusion from your experimental results. A bar graph showing success rate at different angles can help to illustrate your conclusion. For a more advanced project: Use your knowledge of geometry and basketball to come up with a mathematical expression to predict your success rate as a function of angle (measured as a percentage of your success rate with straight-on shots)? How well does your prediction agree with your actual results? (idea from Goodstein, 1999, pp. 103-105.)

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Science Buddies Staff. "Around the World: The Geometry of Shooting Baskets" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 20 June 2014. Web. 21 Oct. 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Math_p037.shtml>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, June 20). Around the World: The Geometry of Shooting Baskets. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Math_p037.shtml

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Last edit date: 2014-06-20


Goodstein, Madeline. Sports Science Projects: The Physics of Balls in Motion. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 1999.

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I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.

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