Sports/Recreation •  Science and Young Adult

$34.95 hardcover

Add to Cart

The Science of Soccer: A Bouncing Ball and a Banana Kick

John Taylor

Winner of the 2014 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for Sports/Recreation

Bronze Winner of the 2015 PubWest Book Design Award for Sports/Fitness/Recreation Book

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. It is also an endless scientific panorama. Every movement by the players and each interaction with the ball involves physics, fluid mechanics, biology, and physiology, to name just a few of the scientific disciplines. In a book that targets middle and high school players, Taylor begins with a history of soccer and its physical and mathematical aspects. He then addresses important questions such as how and why a ball bounces, how the ball spins, and what these dynamics mean for the game. He introduces readers to the science of kicking, heading, and trapping and looks at the sources of the energy required to run, jump, and kick for an entire game. Taylor then puts it all together by following a sequence of plays and describing the science behind tactical maneuvers. Sidebars and appendices allow those with a more mathematical bent to follow the physics and perform experiments to see the effects of phenomena like drag, bounce, and spin. In addition, key terminology is highlighted, explained in the text, and summarized in the glossary.


John Taylor is a former soccer referee, an engineer, a science writer, and a historian who is the author of four books on New Mexican history.


“The perfect resource for soccer enthusiasts, covering all things soccer. . . . This book would be an effective research resource for upper middle school and high school general science students and high school physics students. The book’s strength is its ability . . . to clearly explain difficult physics within the context of a popular sport.”


The Science Teacher

The Science of Soccer explores the world of physics through the lens of the world’s most popular sport, soccer. Taylor opens with a short history of soccer, then explains how scientific principles, such as friction, drag, and the Bernoulli effect, impact the game. Each principle is explained in great detail, with situational examples that can be found in a soccer game, and experiments are included to allow readers to observe the science.”



7 x 10 in. 108 pages 60 color illustrations