Ultimately when men’s sports gear such as a ball is hit, thrown or even kicked, the trajectory can change direction. For instance, in baseball, this is used in curve ball pitches and in golf, it is what helps with slicing or hooking a ball off a tee. For soccer, the ball is bent in a free kick to outmaneuver players such as a goalie. Sports such as tennis or cricket also have the ball curving during play too. The ball’s trajectory will depend on the interaction with the air and the amount of spin on the ball. During flight, the ball can be affected by either lift or drag forces and some thing known as Magnus effect, the sideways force.
Ultimately as a ball spins, a thin layer of air is dragged in rotation. The seams and laces of a ball and the roughness of its surface also are important in causing it to rotate. On the side of the bar with air flow and rotation, the air speed itself increases and the pressure drops. On the other side, the rotation and airflow act in opposite ways and the pressure is much higher. This imbalance in pressure produces this sideway force that causes it to curve.
Understanding the impact of lift, drag and flow helps engineers to develop new technologists to help athletes improve their performance as well as more effective designs for men’s sports gear such as helmets, bikes and even skates all that benefit sports over time.