MLB: Curveballs are optical illusions
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    Curveballs are optical illusions

    Interesting read:

    A Curveball’s Curve? It’s All in Your Head | Playbook

    The average curveball hurls toward a batter at around 75 mph, accentuated by a 1500-rpm spin. From the moment the ball leaves the pitcherís hand, it travels a smooth, consistent, parabolic arc. Thereís no disjointed change in its motion from beginning to end.


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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    My high school science teacher said the same thing, and I have to I call BS, having thrown them and batted against them. They definitely break.

    Couple of years ago sat right behind home plat at a MLB game. Huge and abrupt break on their pitches.



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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    Is my slice on the tee just an "optical illusion" too?



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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    Science needs to stop interfering with some of this sports stuff. I remember a while back some article being posted on here about how getting a 'hot hand' in basketball was a myth for whatever reason. These guys have never played sports before, IMO.



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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    Quote Originally Posted by kucyclone View Post
    Is my slice on the tee just an "optical illusion" too?
    This is my new story....



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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    Quote Originally Posted by CloneState1028 View Post
    Science needs to stop interfering with some of this sports stuff. I remember a while back some article being posted on here about how getting a 'hot hand' in basketball was a myth for whatever reason. These guys have never played sports before, IMO.
    There's no problem with using science to explain how some sports phenomena works. The key, though, is to recognize that in sports psychology can make a huge difference. The governing physics are unchanging, but my input actions do change. If I've had recent success shooting a basketball I'm more likely to confidently take a shot and therefore be more likely to make that shot. If I doubt myself I'm more likely to miss.

    Regarding the curveball (FWIW, I'm not a baseball player), if I'm pre-conditioned to see the ball break, I'll be more likely to see the parabolic arc as having a kink in it (also, a parabola doesn't have constant curvature, so I wouldn't be surprised if the "break" is simply a tightening of the curvature).

    This sports psychology reminds me of something from tennis. A pro player honestly believed that he was "rolling" the racket over the top of the ball as he made contact. Later scientific study showed that the rolling motion came after the ball had been struck. Too bad for anyone who strained their elbows while trying to roll their racket while contacting the ball...


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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    Quote Originally Posted by iahawkhunter View Post
    There's no problem with using science to explain how some sports phenomena works. The key, though, is to recognize that in sports psychology can make a huge difference. The governing physics are unchanging, but my input actions do change. If I've had recent success shooting a basketball I'm more likely to confidently take a shot and therefore be more likely to make that shot. If I doubt myself I'm more likely to miss.

    Regarding the curveball (FWIW, I'm not a baseball player), if I'm pre-conditioned to see the ball break, I'll be more likely to see the parabolic arc as having a kink in it (also, a parabola doesn't have constant curvature, so I wouldn't be surprised if the "break" is simply a tightening of the curvature).

    This sports psychology reminds me of something from tennis. A pro player honestly believed that he was "rolling" the racket over the top of the ball as he made contact. Later scientific study showed that the rolling motion came after the ball had been struck. Too bad for anyone who strained their elbows while trying to roll their racket while contacting the ball...
    Shh...you put your education away.


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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    Quote Originally Posted by CloneState1028 View Post
    Science needs to stop interfering with some of this sports stuff. I remember a while back some article being posted on here about how getting a 'hot hand' in basketball was a myth for whatever reason. These guys have never played sports before, IMO.
    Those guys need to talk to Lafester Rhodes


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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    NERDS!!!!!!!!




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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    Quote Originally Posted by HiltonMagic View Post
    Interesting read:

    A Curveballís Curve? Itís All in Your Head | Playbook

    The average curveball hurls toward a batter at around 75 mph, accentuated by a 1500-rpm spin. From the moment the ball leaves the pitcherís hand, it travels a smooth, consistent, parabolic arc. Thereís no disjointed change in its motion from beginning to end.
    I would like to invite these guys to try and hit one and then tell me it's an optical illusion


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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    Quote Originally Posted by HiltonMagic View Post
    Interesting read:

    A Curveballís Curve? Itís All in Your Head | Playbook

    The average curveball hurls toward a batter at around 75 mph, accentuated by a 1500-rpm spin. From the moment the ball leaves the pitcherís hand, it travels a smooth, consistent, parabolic arc. Thereís no disjointed change in its motion from beginning to end.
    Is this arc really any different than what all of us thought a curve ball looked like? Extend the arc further on one side than the other because the release point is a few feet higher than the strike zone and that would be pretty much what I always figured a curve ball looks like.



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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    The break of the curveball Best Illusion of the Year Contest

    not sure about the validity of this theory but it does make good sense that the hard "break" we see is actually our eyes playing a trick on us, while the curve is a constant radius that doesn't change



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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    Quote Originally Posted by HFCS View Post
    Is this arc really any different than what all of us thought a curve ball looked like? Extend the arc further on one side than the other because the release point is a few feet higher than the strike zone and that would be pretty much what I always figured a curve ball looks like.
    From the article:

    Yet as the ball nears home plate, the batter observes a sudden jump in its trajectory, the notorious “break.” A new study in PLoS ONE argues that the discrepancy between the physics and the perception of the curveball may be all in the mind — or, more specifically, an optical illusion created by the batter’s eyes and brain.


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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    a fastball and a curve ball are both parabolas, just with different coefficients.



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    Re: Curveballs are optical illusions

    Quote Originally Posted by chicagoCy View Post
    The break of the curveball Best Illusion of the Year Contest

    not sure about the validity of this theory but it does make good sense that the hard "break" we see is actually our eyes playing a trick on us, while the curve is a constant radius that doesn't change
    It also makes sense that as the ball slows in speed, the closer it gets to the plae, the more the spinning of the seams alters its course. Much like a golf ball


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