Tennis court surface type and game speed
The materials required for this science fair project:
- 3 experienced tennis players (preferably those who play competitive tennis)
- 3 tennis balls (new balls required - ensure that all 3 are from the same box)
- 3 tennis racquets (identical string tension - try asking the players to lend you their racquets, and have them restrung to the same tension level)
- A stopwatch
- An assistant to help with the measurements
- A clay tennis court
- A grass tennis court
- An asphalt tennis court
1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the type of tennis court used – clay, grass or asphalt. The dependent variable is the speed of the ball bouncing off the court surface. This is determined by counting the number of times the ball bounces off the surface within a certain period of time. The amount of time the ball is allowed to bounce is measured with a stop watch. The constants (control variables) are the racquet string tension, the tennis ball pressure and the tennis player’s experience/abilities.
2. The locations of 3 tennis courts, each made of clay, grass and asphalt surfaces are determined.
3. The 3 tennis players are first brought to the clay court. Test the players one at a time. Using the tennis racquet, each tennis player will bounce the tennis ball up and down against the court surface . This will be done continuously for 1 minute. The stopwatch is started and the number of times the ball bounces off the court surface is counted. The procedure is repeated 5 times per player on each type of court surface and the greatest number of bounces is recorded in the table given below.
4. Procedure 3 is repeated on the grass and asphalt tennis court surfaces and the greatest number of bounces made by the tennis ball by each player after 5 attempts is recorded in the table given below.
Basic safety requirements