Football Spiral

football spiral

How does a football spiral?

Well gravity is the key. But first, when a good quarterback throws a football it can spin 600 times a minute, that is as fast as a CD player. Another interesting fact about the spiral of a football is that when a right handed quarterback throws the football it actually looks different from a left handed one. The reason for that is what scientists call gyroscopic torque. Gyroscopes will move on their own when pushed and the same thing happens to footballs. When a football is thrown and it spirals, gravity brings its nose downward so the football moves on it’s own in another direction. Because of this, when a right handed quarterback throws the football will slightly bend to the right and slightly to the left when a left handed quarterback throws it. This can make all the difference in a touchdown pass or a missed opportunity.

6a00d8354c5ff669e2016763879315970b-800wiA patent issued in 2012 for a regulation football that has weighed strips for better spiral. On the outside, the new football is indistinguishable from an ordinary football. But on the inside, it has a series of weighted strips that extend around the middle. Together, the strips form a generally ring-shaped weight around the middle, stabilizing the football in flight by acting somewhat like a gyroscope.