The Science of Soccer: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Science of Soccer

1st Edition

By John Wesson

CRC Press

210 pages

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Paperback: 9780750308137
pub: 2002-05-24
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For the first time ever, science gives us the answers to questions like "what's the chance of a team that wins the League or Premiership also winning the Cup? Can you predict how many goals will be scored? What's the best height for footballers? Is the winning team the best team?"

The Science of Soccer is a fascinating book, dealing with a wide range of subjects where scientific analysis can be applied to football. Starting with a qualitative description of the basic physics that relate to the ball and its bounce, the author then moves through kicks and throws to a simple account of the more complex physics of a ball in flight. Fulfilling your scientific curiosity, this book uncovers aspects of the game that are not normally discussed.

It includes a look at game theory, how the rules affect the flow and enjoyment of the game, why the best team does not always win, unusual statistics about players, and an insight into the economics of the game.


"John Wesson has written here a unique book showing great skill in mathematics and physics, and a perfect knowledge of soccer and of its rules. This book should be read by anybody with a basic scientific background interested in ball games."

-Marcel Lesieur, Journal of Turbulence, Vol. 3

"The Science of Soccer is a pleasant addition to a long line of sports-related books by English authors, each of whom wants to explain the sound physical reasons why things happen in a particular game … Wesson reaches into territory that few such books have explored before, including some thoughts on rudimentary game theory, on strategy, and on the economics of the game today. Those parts make interesting reading."

-John D. McCullen, Physics Today, June 2003

Table of Contents

The Ball and the Bounce

The Kick

Throwing, Heading, Punching, Catching, Receiving, and Trapping

The Ball in Flight

The Rules

Game Theory

The Best Team

The Players



Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Physics