The Perfect Spiral

When a football is thrown, its spin allows it to resist the forces acting on it and travel long distances. The unique shape of the football makes it unpredictable on the ground, which is why it’s interesting to see what happens when the ball is fumbled, but in the air, it is smooth and accurate.

football spiral perfect

Perfect Spiral: As the ball spirals, the air along the surface is “broken up”.

football spiral wobble

Lame Duck: When the spiral is more of a “lame duck” throw, the air encounters more of the surface area of the ball, causing more drag.