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Sports Science Project Ideas (57 results)

Top athletes and coaches use a whole lot of science and engineering to improve performance and increase the chances of winning. Technologies like better tennis rackets, sleeker running and swimming outfits, and aerodynamic soccer balls, mean that current athletes are breaking world records left and right. Add to that better nutrition and science-based training regimes and you have an era of amazing athletes! Explore one of our sports science projects to see how science and engineering impact your favorite sport.

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Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever seen a "Hail Mary" football pass, where the quarterback tries to throw the ball as far as possible to reach the end zone and score a touchdown? Or a last second game tying soccer goal from midfield? How far the ball will go does not just depend on how hard a player throws or kicks it; it also depends on the angle at which the player launches the ball. In this sports science project, you will investigate how launch angle affects the distance that a ball travels by filming… Read more
Sports_p036
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires a computer with internet access and a digital video camera with a tripod. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Be sure to do this science project in an open area like an empty football field, where you will not hit people or buildings with the ball.
Science Fair Project Idea
You'll need: a puck, a hockey stick, a tape measure, at least one helper with a stopwatch and an empty rink. Have your friend start the watch just as you make contact with the puck, and stop it when the puck hits the boards. Measure the distance and divide by the time to get the speed of the puck. With two helpers and two stop watches, you can time the puck at center ice and at the far end. Are the speeds the same? How about if you don't follow through, but stop your stick as soon as it… Read more
Sports_p043
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Science Fair Project Idea
How high can you throw different types of balls, like a golf ball, a basketball, and a football? Would one of them go higher than the others? Do factors like mass, shape, and volume influence the final height? You can measure the approximate maximum height a thrown ball reaches by measuring the time it spends in the air. To do this project, you'll need at least one ball and a helper with a stopwatch. Your helper should start timing just as you release the ball, and stop right when the ball… Read more
Sports_p035
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Playing sports can be a lot of fun, but some sports pose higher risks of concussions, or brain injuries resulting from collisions, especially in contact sports like football. Some coaches, teams, and players use new warning devices mounted on helmets that sound an alarm after the head receives a serious impact. This gives an advanced warning of concussion risk (possibly before any of the medical symptoms might appear), signaling that the player should stop playing and see a medical… Read more
Sports_p063
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires access to a team of volunteers who play a contact sport (for example football, lacrosse, soccer, or hockey). See the Materials tab for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety The purpose of this project is to measure accelerations experienced during typical play. Never intentionally hit another player in the head.

The information and data collected in this activity are for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

Because of these health and safety concerns, adult supervision is required for this project. Some science fairs may require prior approval from the for this project, ask your teacher or fair coordinator for details.

Science Fair Project Idea
Swish! What a great sound when you hit the perfect shot and get nothing but net. Here's a project to get you thinking about how you can make that perfect shot more often. Read more
Sports_p010
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Tennis racquets, baseball bats and golf clubs all vibrate when they hit the ball. You can often feel it in your hands, particularly if you "mis-hit" the ball. You can find the point(s) on your racquet, bat or club—called the "sweet spot"—that minimize unwanted vibrations. Low-tech method: hang the racquet or bat straight up and down with a string from its handle. Lightly hold the handle with your thumb and forefinger and have a helper sharply tap the bat, strings or club face… Read more
Sports_p033
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Watching professional racing-car drivers compete can be thrilling. The high speeds that racing cars can reach — up to 200 miles per hour (mph) and more! — put some unique demands on the vehicles. For example, to withstand high temperatures, the tires must be inflated with nitrogen gas, instead of air as with normal car tires. This enables the drivers to have better control over steering their cars as they race around the track. In this sports science project, you will inflate… Read more
Sports_p062
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A helium tank is required to do this science project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Follow all safety precautions when using the helium tank and working with helium gas, as described on the tank's packaging.
Science Fair Project Idea
While watching an ice hockey game, have you ever wondered what differentiates a good player from a great player? For sure, the great player is athletically superior to the good player. But maybe it is a combination of athleticism and equipment. Maybe a great player knows which hockey stick is best for him or her. Hockey players can choose to play with hockey sticks with different flexibilities or "flex." In this science fair project, investigate how stick flex affects shot accuracy and speed.… Read more
Sports_p049
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Access to an empty ice rink and knowledge of how to play ice hockey.
Material Availability Specialty items required. You need access to an empty ice rink, hockey equipment and safety gear, a sports radar gun appropriate for hockey, and two volunteers who also have equipment and safety gear.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible. Wear safety gear.
Science Fair Project Idea
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… Read more
Sports_p030
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Science Fair Project Idea
Do corked bats really hit the ball further? What about other materials? Here's a project to find out. Read more
Sports_p047
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites It helps to be handy with building things: you'll need to design and build a bat-swinging device for this project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision recommended. Adult assistance required for drilling bats.
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