Reaction Time: Softball, Baseball
Date: 04/26/2003 at 06:12:55 From: Sam Subject: Softball pitchers vs baseball pitchers Dr. Math, The other night at our high school we had girls' softball and boys' baseball games going on at the same time. The baseball pitcher was throwing 90mph from 60 feet, and the softball pitcher was throwing 60mph from 40 ft. I argued that the reaction time for batters in softball was less than for hitters in baseball despite the difference in speed. How can I measure reaction time for each? (60 mph from 40 ft vs 90mph from 60 ft) If my assumption is correct that the reaction time is less in softball for hitters, then how fast would a baseball pitchers' pitch have to be to equal the reaction time for a softball player (from 60 ft). Thank you, Sam Henderson
Date: 04/26/2003 at 09:48:48 From: Doctor Paul Subject: Re: Softball pitchers vs baseball pitchers The batter's reaction time is equal to the amount of time it takes for the ball to travel to the plate from the moment it is released from the hand of the pitcher. In the softball case, the ball is traveling 60 mph for 40 feet. How long does that take? 60 miles 1 hour 1 minute 5280 feet 88 feet -------- * ---------- * ---------- * --------- = -------- 1 hour 60 minutes 60 seconds 1 mile 1 second Thus 60 mph = 88 feet per second. If the softball is moving at 88 feet per second, how long will it take to go forty feet? We want to solve for x: 88 feet 40 feet -------- = -------- 1 second x seconds 88*x = 40 x = 40/88 = .454545454545... seconds So the reaction time for the softball hitters is .45 seconds. Similar calculations show that 90 mph = 132 feet per second We want to solve: 132 feet 60 feet -------- = ------- 1 second x seconds x = 60/132 = .4545454545... seconds So the reaction time is exactly the same and that answers your second question. I hope this helps. Please write back if you'd like to talk about this some more. - Doctor Paul, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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