Sunday, March 30, 2008

Gyroball - A "Nothing Ball"?

The controversy surrounding the existence of a "gyroball" in the sports of baseball continues. Recall that I reported on this a while ago of the skepticism that such a ball can be thrown. Now there's a new follow up to this issue where even more people are simply questioning why this is such a big deal.

Adair said it actually mimics a pitch in cricket that "probably goes back 100 years," its odd-duck spin more useful in that sport because the ball is bounced to the batsman. "It had various names," Adair said. "The 'googly' and the 'Chinaman,' because a British bowler of Chinese extraction threw it.'

"Properly thrown through the air, the gyroball does nothing. It's a 'nothing ball!'"

Or as University of Illinois physics professor Alan Nathan amended, "A 'qualified nothing ball.' Because if the batter is expecting a 'something ball' [with a break or a dip], that makes a 'nothing ball' effective."

Sort of a reverse psychology? :)

I wish they just play ball!


1 comment:

Kent Leung said...

A game of cricket really is psychological and tactical warfare. This is MOST evidently in Test Match Cricket, where two teams battle it out over 5 whole days.

The physics and intelligence involved in the game are simply superb. There are two types of bowlers in the game: fast bowlers who bowl at around 130-150km/h and spin bowlers at around 80-100km/h. Due to the low speed of the latter, they must deceive the batsman by spinning the ball so that it bounces at awkward angles before reaching the batsman. To counter this deception, all good batsman watch the hand of spin-bowler very closely as they release the ball to hopefully gain some insight on which direction the ball is spinning etc... So a 'googly' (or a 'flipper') is a technique which makes the ball spin as it comes out of the hand but does nothing when it bounces, effectively countering the counter of the batsman. :)