Home Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students

Soccer: Geometry of Goal-Scoring *

Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
*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.


Block off one-third of a soccer net with a cone, 5-gallon bucket or some other suitable object. Shoot into the smaller side from a set distance, but systematically varying the angle to the goal line. Take enough shots at each angle to get a reliable sample. How does success vary with angle? 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 soccer 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 Gardner, 2000, 108-110.)

Cite This Page

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Soccer: Geometry of Goal-Scoring" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 20 June 2014. Web. 24 July 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Sports_p030.shtml>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, June 20). Soccer: Geometry of Goal-Scoring. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Sports_p030.shtml

Share your story with Science Buddies!

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

Last edit date: 2014-06-20


Gardner, R., 2000. Science Projects About the Physics of Sports. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers.

Share your story with Science Buddies!

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

Ask an Expert

The Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.

Ask an Expert

Related Links

If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:

Mathematician at work


Mathematicians are part of an ancient tradition of searching for patterns, conjecturing, and figuring out truths based on rigorous deduction. Some mathematicians focus on purely theoretical problems, with no obvious or immediate applications, except to advance our understanding of mathematics, while others focus on applied mathematics, where they try to solve problems in economics, business, science, physics, or engineering. Read more
person graphing data on computer screen


Statisticians use the power of math and probability theory to answer questions that affect the lives of millions of people. They tell educators which teaching method works best, tell policy-makers what levels of pesticides are acceptable in fresh fruit, tell doctors which treatment works best, and tell builders which type of paint is the most durable. They are employed in virtually every type of industry imaginable, from engineering, manufacturing, and medicine to animal science, food production, transportation, and education. Everybody needs a statistician! Read more

Looking for more science fun?

Try one of our science activities for quick, anytime science explorations. The perfect thing to liven up a rainy day, school vacation, or moment of boredom.

Find an Activity