Syllabus Dot Point:

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Definition of Force

Force is a push or pull on an object.

Point of application of the force is simply the location on an object where the force is applied.

The line of action of a force is a line through the point of application extending along the direction of the force.

Notes on Force


- pushing or pulling action
- How the Body Applies Force, How the Body Absorbs Force, Application of Force on an Object

How The Body Applies Force

- primarily through muscular system promoting movement of skeletal system to initiate movement
- number of forces combine to form desired movement ("Summation of Forces")
- body is faced with opposing forces (eg. gravity, air resistance, water resistance and friction)
- Newton's Laws of Motion

Newton's Laws Of Motion

1st Law: An object with not move or change unless a force acts upon it
2nd Law: The total force on a body is a product of the mass of the body and its acceleration
3rd: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

How The Body Absorbs Force

- a player needs to increase the time over which a force is absorbed
- decreasing force of impact and increasing time over which impact is absorbed
- force distributed over large area (base of support) has less than that applied to smaller area
- changing force through flexing joints
- flexion of joints, lower base of gravity

Application Of Force On An Object

- the greater the foce applied the greater the speed and acceleration of object
- if the mass of object increases, so does the force required to move the object

Video on the effects of Force

This YouTube video describes the Magnus Force:
Whenever an object spins through the air it experiences a 'Magnus Force' due to friction between the air and the object's surface. This force was originally identified while studying the trajectories of cannon balls. The Magnus force is essential in most ball sports including golf, cricket, tennis, and baseball.

Exam Style Questions on Force

1. Define force and explain how force can be used to enhance performance. (3 Marks)
2. Explain how the Magnus Force produces movement through the air. (6 Marks)
3. Evaluate how the body absorbs force. (8 Marks)