Gyroscope and football
Play Video: Secrets of a touchdown pass, in 90 seconds

Secrets of a touchdown pass, in 90 seconds

Feb. 2, 2018 11 a.m.

Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Edward Groth explains the physics of a football pass, including the three factors of why a spiral is important, how the shape of the ball has changed over time and how players can adapt their pass to external conditions.

With Super Bowl Sunday quickly approaching, many of us are planning to gather with friends and family to watch the game and maybe even play a game of pickup during the hours leading up to kick off. How can you throw that perfect winning touchdown pass?

Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Edward Groth explains the physics of a football pass, including why a spiral is important, how the shape of the ball has contributed to long-distance passing, and how quarterbacks can adapt their passes to external conditions.