Quadratics in Sports

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      Baseball outfielders judge where a fly ball will land based on the speed at which the ball leaves the bat (Calculus), and the highest point the ball reaches (the vertex), to deduce the distance from the line of symmetry of the parabola to both home plate and the prospective landing spot. This is why pop-ups that go super high and stay within the infield are so easy to catch–because they have more time to run to the spot of landing, and it is easier to deduce the midway point at which the ball peaks.

      Football punters have to not only be able to punt the ball far, but also high, because the more time that elapses, the more time the defense has to run and tackle the punt returner.

      Basketball Centers over 7’0 usually have a harder time making free throws than shorter guards because the parabola of their free throw tends to be flatter than the parabola of a shorter player.

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