Soccer: More Than Just a Sport

Topics: Polyhedron, Platonic solid, Regular polygon Pages: 5 (1521 words) Published: March 22, 2000
You may not know it, but mathematics is all around you in the world today- from the breakfast you eat in the morning, to the hobbies you enjoy, to the complex world of computers and games. In this paper, it's going to be my goal to show you how math is related to the sport of soccer.

Soccer, in essence, is a fairly simplistic sport. The basic rules are simple, but some of the more particular ones can become slightly confusing. The MLS (Major League Soccer) recognizes seventeen basic rules which players and coaches must abide by. However, all of these are not entirely important to understand the game. First of all, you need a regulation size ball and two netted goals, eighteen feet by eight feet. Each team consists of eleven players, one of whom must be the goalkeeper. In addition, both teams are allowed to have a select number of subs. The number of subs varies depending on the level at which you are playing. No players are allowed to touch the ball with their hands, besides the goalie, who is only given this privilege if he is inside the eighteen yard box around the goal. Player uniforms must embody a shirt, socks, shorts, shin guards, and shoes. In addition the goalkeeper must wear colors that distinguish him from other players, the referee, and the referee assistants. The game is run by a main referee and two assistants. The main referee is responsible for control of the game and his/her decisions regarding facts connected with play are final. The referee's assistants aid the referee by indicating offside, when the ball is out of play, and which team gets a corner kick, a goal kick, or a throw in. Furthermore, they denote when a substitution needs to be made. Game length for professional games is ninety minutes with two forty-five minute halves. Time is continuously running. Points (called goals) are awarded to the team that passes the ball completely over the goal line and into the other team's goal. Another important part of the game is the calling of fouls and penalties. "Fouls are called for any of the following six offenses in a matter that is considered by the referee to be careless, reckless, or using excessive force. A. Kicks

B. Trips
C. Jumps at
D. Charge
E. Strikes
F. Pushes"(Major)
Anything from free kicks for the opposing team, to game suspensions can be given out for these offenses. The game is won by the team that has scored the most goals after the entire ninety minutes of play has expired. If the number of goals scored by each team is the same after the entire ninety minutes, the game goes into a ten minute overtime with two five minute halves. If the score remains tied, the game goes into a shoot out until one team has kicked more goals than the other.

In brief, soccer is played in this way. Now you may look at all of that writing and say that there is no way that any of this sport could have anything to do with math, but surprisingly enough, it does.

Math is present in almost anything you do. All sports, games, hobbies, and more have a number of ways in which they are involved in math. Soccer is not left out. Many mathematical theories apply to the sport of soccer. To start simple many geometrical shapes are on a soccer field. The field is rectangular, the goal boxes are rectangular, and the center of the field is a circle. Even more difficult things can be calculated using math. For instance, the probability of actually scoring a goal can be calculated by finding the angle to the goal (geometry) and by finding the center of gravity (physics). More physics applies in calculating the distance and in what direction a ball will travel when kicked by using projectile motion and initial velocity. However, in this paper I am going to concentrate on one main focus, and this focus is the shape of the actual soccer ball itself.

If you actually look at a soccer ball in depth, you will notice that it is an intricate pattern of pentagons and hexagons...
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