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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.)

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Science Buddies Staff. "Soccer: Geometry of Goal-Scoring" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 20 June 2014. Web. 23 Oct. 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 October 23, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Sports_p030.shtml

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Last edit date: 2014-06-20


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

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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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