Supersonic Soccer Science

Broad Question

How can a soccer ball shot become more accurate?Sign Out

Specific Question

How does different air pressures in a soccer ball effect the accuracy of a soccer ball?


It is hypothesized that the minimum and maximum air pressure in the soccer ball will be not as accurate. The soccer ball with a lower pressure per square inch will perform worse because less of the energy is lost to deformation of the ball surface.

Graph of Hypothesis

wiby12-b real hypo grpah 99.jpg


Independent Variable: The different PSI in the soccer ball (4 psi, 6 psi, 8 psi, 10 psi, 12 psi).

Dependent Variable: The accuracy of the shot. (o pts,2 pts, 4 pts, 6 pts, 8 pts.)

Variables That Need To Be Controlled: Same Radar Gun style, same settings, same soccer ball, same tri-pod, same camera, same length of kick, same kicker, same shoes, same floor, same target.

Vocabulary List That Needs Explanation

PSI- Pounds per square inch

General Plan

Potential Problems And Solutions

Gym not available: Plan ahead / get access.

Safety Or Environmental Concerns

Radiation from the Radar Gun, Soccer ball hitting someone or breaking something.

Experimental Design

Get a Genesis Radar Gun and a 12 volt socket adapter/ Power P Sonic car battery. Then get tape for target and kick area, also get a shot taker and soccer ball. Make square bulls eye target and tape kick spot. Set radar gun and camera up off to the weak side of the kicker. Set radar gun to sensitivity setting 6 and directional at away(a). Next pump the soccer ball to the lowest PSI for example 5 psi Have the kicker take a shot and record data like points and mph. Repeat until finished with the first 20 trials. After this pump ball up to next psi and repeat the steps that were stated before. While doing the trials take pictures and videos of the trial as evidence that it really happened and to back up your statements.

Resources and Budget Table

Materials List

Item NameSizeQuantity/Description

1. Radar Gun Genesis Directional Handheld Radar Gun

2. Soccer Ball 5 Nike USA supporter Ball

3. Gym Space Pick-up Soccer Area

4. Shot Taker Pick-up Soccer Player

5. Tape Target 56”by 56” Tape Square Bulls eye target

6. Electrical Supply 12 volt socket adapter car battery.

7. iPod iPod version 4 video and pictures.

8. Tripod Tripod to hold iPod company Gamigon

Detailed Procedure


Step 1. Get a Target, Camera (slow motion), Soccer Ball, Soccer Ball Pump, PSI Gauge.
Step 2. Get access to a gym to do the experiment and arrange for kicker to arrive.
Step 3. Set up the Target on the blue padding in the gym, set up the slow motion or high speed camera behind the soccer ball but a little to the side, out of the way of the kickers foot. For instance, the kicker is a righty, then the camera should be on the far right (behind kicker). (Shown below in diagram)
Step 4. Measure 10 meters, ( approximately 30 feet) away from the target.
Step 5. Pump the soccer ball up to 4 psi, place soccer ball on line, kick the ball at target, record data, repeat 20 times. Get the soccer ball and place it back where you had it before shooting. Example : Shoot, record data, bring ball back to specific spot and place it back ( the kicker should get the rebound and place it back), shoot, repeat.
Step 6. Pump the soccer ball up to 6, 8, 10 and 12 psi, kick the ball 20 times for each psi. Total, there will be 100 kicks of the soccer ball.
Step 7. Record the trials on camera so if not sure of amount of points refer to video.
Step 8. Collect the accuracy of each kick and put them onto a spreadsheet.
Step 9 Compare the accuracy of different air pressures.


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Data Table

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Data Analysis


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wiby12-b average graph99.jpg


Square target from about 10 yards.

Car Battery customized for radar gun, with 12 volt adapter


The average points for 4 psi was 2.2 points per kick. The average for 6 psi was 3.3 per kick. The average amount of points for 8 psi was 3.4 per shot. The average amount of points for 10 psi was 2.3 points per kick, and finally the average for 12 psi is, 3.5. 8 and 12 psi had the most points per kick with 3.4 and 3.5.


This experiment was designed to find out how the different PSI affect the accuracy of a soccer ball. The results show that about 8 and 12 psi is the most accurate because it averaged the most points per kick. The reason it is the most accurate is because the “force from your kick, is not wasted in the deformation of the soccer ball.” The average for 4 psi was 2.2, 6 psi was 3.3, 8 psi was 3.4, 10 psi was 2.3 points per kick. 12 psi had 3.5 points per kick.


The experiment question was “How does the different PSI in a soccer ball affect the accuracy of a soccer ball. The experiment results did answer the experiment question. The answer was that the medium psi (8-10 psi) was the most accurate. It was hypothesized that the more psi in a soccer ball would be the most accurate. The results showed that the medium psi was the most accurate. The results are that 4 psi got an average of 1.35 points per kick. 6 psi got an average of 2.85 points per kick. 8 psi got an average of 3.25. 10 psi had the best average of 3.7 psi and 12 psi had the second lowest average of 2.2 psi. The lower the psi ended up being the least accurate, until it got to the highest psi which got an average of 2.2 points per kick.
The treatment with the lesser are pressure, the less accurate it was. The 4 and 6 psi soccer ball made a loud smack sound whenever kicked, which resulted in it losing power and accuracy because the effort of having it be accurate was wasted in the deformation of the soccer ball. 8-10 psi did not make a loud flat sound, instead made a firm, crisp thud. The balls with these psi’s were much more accurate and did not deform when kicked. The results happened because the different air pressures affected the accuracy of the soccer ball. The research said that the less air pressure in a object (soccer ball) the less accurate and powerful the shot is. The power and effort put into the kick, is wasted in the deformation of the ball. That makes the kick, slower and less accurate. The results can be explained by the research on the different PSI’s affecting the kick of a soccer ball.
There were some minor challenges that occurred in this experiment. The challenge of having all the materials for the experiment and the challenge of getting gym space was also very hard. The original max. air pressure was 13 psi then it was changed because the soccer ball could not hold that amount. It was then changed to 12 psi. To make the experiment better the addition of a more accurate PSI gauge could have helped. The only technology needed was the camera to record the trials and the radar gun to gather and record the speed of the shot. The radar gun sends of a very low amount of radiation, which can cause cancer. A way to prevent this is to hold the trigger only when recording the speed, and also hold it away from any humans or animals. This information would benefit Soccer Players, Soccer Coaches and Recreation Soccer Players. This will benefit these people because if they are playing with a ball that is inflated too much it will hurt the kicking foot. The soccer ball will become inflated when it is about 12 psi. Also when it is not inflated enough it will form to a foot which would make it very slow. It will also not be as accurate, that will be when it is around 4-6 psi. When the ball is either to inflated or not inflated enough this will be very frustrating for the players and coaches. When the psi is just right it will be the most accurate, it will bounce off a foot just right. This should be about 8-10 psi. This information could be useful to youth soccer leagues because a harder soccer ball could result in an injury. People could find with the most accurate air pressure what is the most accurate texture on a soccer ball using the same set up. Another future experiment could be to use the most accurate PSI and find the most accurate kicking surface.

Background Research

The average speed of a soccer ball when shot by a professional football player is about 70 miles per hour.
The average PSI in a FIFA regulation soccer ball is about 12-14 PSI
The average PSI in a UEFA regulation soccer ball is about 8-10 PSI
He more PSI in a soccer ball the farther and faster it will go.
A radar gun gives off radiation measuring at .10 and can cause different types of cancer.
The government says the highest amount of radiation that is still safe is under 10 radiation.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s, the second best soccer player in the world, top recorded speed of a kick is 80 mph.


"How Does the Air Pressure of a Soccer Ball Affect the Distance It Goes When Kicked?" LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 26 May 2011. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.

"How Much Air Pressure Is in a Regulation Size Soccer Ball?" LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 30 Apr. 2011. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.

"Radar Guns Linked To Cancer." Daily Press. Daily Press, 21 Sept. 1992. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.

"What Is the P.S.I. Of the Official F.I.F.A. Soccer Ball?" Questions & Answers. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.


The purpose of this experiment was to find out how different air pressures (PSI) affect the accuracy when kicking a soccer ball. It was hypothesized that more air pressure in the soccer ball will not be as accurate. The middle air pressure will be the most accurate. The subject kicked the soccer ball at different pressures such as 4 psi, 6 psi, 8 psi, 10 psi and 12 psi. The soccer ball was kicked at a target 20 times for each air pressure. The most accurate was 10 psi with an average of 3.7 points .