Sunday, November 6, 2022

LEAFLET: Physics of Volleyball

 P. 1 cover




It looks at the following questions: 

What 2 forces help the ball go up?

What 2 forces help the ball go down?

What’s the physics of jumping?

What are parabola and trajectory, and

what do they have to do with volleyball?




Quincy, Mass.

P. 2 inside left

What are the 3 laws of motion?

How do they apply to volleyball?


1st Law – Inertia

The tendency of a moving object – like a volleyball – to stay in motion, until acted upon by another object or a force (like gravity or friction).



2nd Law – Force

F = m × a    or   F = m · a    What does it mean?


The ball is made of mass.  The amount of Force depends on how hard you hit the mass of the ball and how fast it accelerates –   

The Action



3rd Law – The Reaction

Every Action has an equal and opposite Reaction.

The pace of the game usually depends on the Force (the Action):

Slower pace means less Force is used.

Faster pace means more Force is used.

P. 3 inside center



This shows you how 4 forces work on the ball – in pairs and against each other.


 D. FRICTION  aka  DRAG                C. GRAVITY           

Force that slows the motion             Force that pulls things down    

 of things                                   It is always present!  


A. THRUST                                                  B. LIFT   

Uses the force of your energy         Upward force that opposes pull of gravity   


___Source:  Ref. 2, Van Voorst___

P. 4   inside right:

What are parabola and trajectory – and what do they have to do with volleyball?


Θ Part of a circle is called an arc, the shape of the path that the ball takes as it travels through the air.


Θ We also use the word parabola to describe specifically the shape made by the ball.  Both arc and parabola are words used in geometry, focusing on shape.


Θ There’s another word that’s also about shape, but more than that, it’s about motion too. That word is trajectory.  Trajectory is the path taken by a moving object  –   a ball that has been thrown.

Θ  Here are other -ject words:  project – object – reject – eject – inject

P. 5  back, left


Trivia Question

Who invented volleyball?


William G. Morgan, an American, invented volleyball  in  1895.  He  raised a net used for tennis, and players used their hands to volley the ball back and forth over the net. 

(Ref. 1, Doeden)


When  you  jump up and down,  how  does  the 3rd law of motion apply to this?



Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  When you jump,  you apply force to the ground with your feet.  The ground returns the force,  and  you  are  pushed into the air.

The harder you push,

the higher you jump!

(Ref. 2, VanVoorst)


Sports and games are the 

gateway to science, 

and YOU hold the key!


P. 6    back, center

Volleyball …  

is just one of endless ways to gain an understanding of physics and geometry.         

I hope this leaflet introduces you to seeing  things  you never saw before – or wondered about but just didn't know where to start.

Physics and geometry  come into play in every activity and event going on around us.

Knowing how things work can add to your performance and to your fun.  So give it a try.  How?


        Start with the information here

        You  may  not understand  everything  in it right away, but for now, use what you do understand

        Do an online search of your own

        See  what  books  or  videos  your library  has

        Share them  with friends,  your class, your team, your scout troop

        Read my blog and tell others:


             Thank you!  Kathy Hogan



(1)           Volleyball by Matt Doeden, Amicus Publishing, Mankato, MN, 2016

(2)          STEM in the Summer Olympics: The Science Behind Volleyball  

             by Jenny Fretland-VanVoorst, Pogo Books/Jump!, Minneapolis, MN, 2020

Wednesday, August 31, 2022






Kathy Hogan, Quincy, Mass.


Teach kids how they can say no to drink and/or drugs with conviction and confidence.  Because drink and drugs can be dream-killers.


DRIVING         We learn to drive by taking lessons to drive safely, studying rules of the road, and taking a driving test before being issued a license to drive a potentially dangerous vehicle.  However, drink and drugs are dangerous, yet young people are not normally given the same kind of preparation. 

PLAYING TEAM SPORTS            Sports teams consist of offense and defense.  Defensive players are trained to play defense.  However, we do not train kids to play defense when it comes to dealing with this offense:    an offense in which drink and/or drugs are offered.

RATIONALE:    In childhood, kids do things that make them happy, that excite them, or that they simply enjoy – yet drink or drugs are not part of this.  Later on, when young people are invited to try drink or drugs, they’re often persuaded it will make them feel good.   Remind kids they already know how to find pleasure in life in a natural way.   Let’s train them so they have something to draw upon – experience saying ‘no’ and a response in which they have conviction – when faced with persuasion.  Other reasons to say no can be explored – such as the undesirable prospect of being kicked off their sports team!  

NOTE:    How well this will work with children who’ve been abused, with mental health problems, or with parents who have substance abuse problems themselves is not clear.     By itself this might not be a cure-all, but I think it is worth trying,  if for no other reason than to keep the good times in the forefront of their minds.  At its best, it could be the saving grace.

In addition, curiosity plays a big role. 

How to deal with it?  I don’t have the answer.  Do you?



First:                Brainstorm things that as a child you enjoy, excite you, make you happy, or just bring you contentment.

Second:           Brainstorm things someone may say to you to get you to try a drink or drug.

Third:  Keep in mind you’ve had experiences that bring you pleasure, and brainstorm responses you can use to say no.  Explore various reasons.  Be aware that bullying reactions can follow as well as peer pressure; need to prepare the children for this, too.

Fourth:            Role play in pairs, the first person acting as the person offering something, the second person as the one being offered something.  Then take turns and reverse roles.

Fifth:                Members of the whole group share with each other.

TO FOLLOW:  Develop Lesson Plans/Training Plans for each stage.

Monday, August 29, 2022

COCOANUT GROVE FIRE , Boston, November 28, 1942

I'm using Gateway to Science: Sports and Games to post this as it's the only blog I have and wanted to make this available to anyone interested.

Stephanie Schorow wrote The Cocoanut Grove Fire in 2005 and will be publishing a revision this October 2022, just before the 80th anniversary of the fire.  

Following this you will see a primary source -- my dad’s diary entries about the BC-Holy Cross football game and later on the nightclub fire and the aftermath.  

Dad was Ned Dullea, BC 1923; he played football and worked on The Heights. He taught history in Boston for over 40 years. My uncle was Fr. Maurice Dullea, S.J., BC 1917, and faculty moderator of athletics at BC between 1940 and 1957.  He was also BC’s football captain in 1916 and led BC to its first victory over Holy Cross in about 15 years.  After he became a Jesuit priest, he was assigned to Holy Cross in 1930 where he established and directed the intramural program, and his first achievement was to create a soccer field.  He left there for BC in 1940.

You can read the details that Dad wrote, including the pleasant day that began that Saturday, the anticipation that BC would win, as it was rated #1 by the AP, the shocking 55-12 loss, and being present in Fenway Park’s office where the Sugar Bowl Committee called Father Dullea to withdraw the invitation to play on January 1.  When Dad woke up on Sunday, Father Maurice was calling to tell him that he had been up all night helping victims of the Cocoanut Grove fire, because BC’s Jesuit community had been called to come and help, to comfort the injured and dying.

I recently checked the program that Dad had held onto, and the BC co-captains are on the cover – Fred Naumetz wearing 55 and Mike Holovak wearing 12!  Prophetic?!

The 80th anniversary is approaching, and please feel free to use this if you want to share it with others. Ms. Schorow gives talks on her books and I’m sure would be happy to hear from organizations.  That, in fact, is how I met her a few years ago at the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, when I brought Dad’s diary with me to her talk and read it to everyone who was there. 

Here is Dad's diary:


Diary of Edward C. Dullea, Boston College Class of 1923


Saturday, November 28, 1942:

Day of Holy Cross-B.C. game.  Rain has stopped, much colder.  Rose’s mother came over to care for little Maurice [19 months old].  Rose and I had lunch at Kelsey’s Lunchroom in Kenmore Square.  We sat with Everett Conway at the game at Fenway Park.

Nothing in life is sure.  B.C., number one team of the nation by the Associated Press national poll, four to one favorites for to-day’s game, suffered the worst defeat of B.C. athletic history, being crushed by Holy Cross by an unbelievable 55 to 12 score.  Holy Cross backs Grigas, Ball, Bezemes, Sullivan ran wild. Their forwards clicked.  Everything B.C. did went awry, as in a nightmare.  Holy Cross fans, luckless for four years, cheered and thundered without ceasing.

Jimmy Guaragna drove Rose home, while I waited for Maurice  [B.C. 1917]  in the Red Sox offices.  The Sugar Bowl Committee called from New Orleans to withdraw the invitation extended to B.C. to play in the Bowl game of January 1.

Maurice and I had supper at my mother’s.  On the way out to B.C., we called at Mrs. Moore’s to see Freddie Naumetz [one of BC’s football players].  Freddie was out, and more of this later.


Sunday, November 29, 1942:

The newspapers shrieked the horrible news that 448 people died in the flames and smoke of the Cocoanut Grove on Piedmont Street last night at 10 P.M.

Maurice called from B.C. at 9 A.M., telling me that he had been in the city all night helping to minister to the dead and dying, and searching for Fred Naumetz, after a police sergeant had identified one of the dead as Freddie.  Later I drove out to B.C., talked with Gil Bouley, Mike Holovak, and Rocco Canale, but still no news on Fred.  Stopping to see my mother and [sister] Katherine, I arrived back at Ocean Street about 1 P.M.  Here Mrs. Frank Jones (the trainer’s wife) called me to tell me that Larry Kenney and his wife had died in the holocaust.

Everett Conway came over to the house in the afternoon.  All day long the radio broadcast the long list of dead, dying, and injured, the lists mounting every minute, as identifications were made in morgues, hospitals, and undertaking establishments. 

There was one bit of good news.  Fred Naumetz was found.  He had stayed overnight at a friend’s house, his fiancé, Miss Jacobs. 


Monday, November 30, 1942:

The newspapers were filled with the horrors of the Cocoanut Grove tragedy.  Joseph Boratyn, Holy Cross football star of 1941, perished.  John Gill, B.C. Alumni Secretary, and his wife escaped and are in a hospital.  Charles “Buck” Jones, famous movie actor, Wild West pictures, is dying.  A policeman, Robert Pierce, and his wife, of our street, died, leaving three children.

It was announced to-day that B.C. will play the University of Alabama in the Orange Bowl game at Miami, Florida, on New Year’s Day.  So B.C. will play in a bowl after all.


End of November entry:

November ends in deep gloom.  The Cocoanut Grove fire was one of the worst disasters in American history.  On only three occasions have fires and explosions taken a greater toll of life.

In retrospect, the unmerciful beating that Holy Cross gave B.C. was the most wonderful thing that could have happened.  If B.C. had won, or even tied, they would have been undisputed national champions.  The entire squad, with coaches and officials, were to have attended a victory dinner at the Cocoanut Grove.  Rocco Canale was scheduled to sing a baritone solo.  With them would have been girlfriends, sisters, mothers, wives of coaches and officials, etc.

The stunning defeat led the team to call off the whole affair.  The boys went home to bed to try and forget the debacle.  None of the B.C. party went, except unfortunate Larry Kenney and his little group.  Surely this was Providential.


Tuesday, December 1, 1942:

After school I called for Katherine at the Bailey Street School.  While there, Jim Manning, custodian, painted my headlights to conform with the new dim-out regulations.  I drove Katherine to my mother’s house.   On the way home, I went to the wake of Larry Kenney and his wife on Dracut Street, near Peabody Square [Dorchester].

When I arrived home about 5:30, Rose told me that my brother Maurice and Coach Denny Myers had visited us after attending Larry’s wake.  They had quite a time playing with our little Maurice.


Sunday, December 27, 1942:

I attended 9 o’clock Mass at St. Mark’s, Rose the 10:15 Mass.  I then took Maurice in town to see my cousin Hannah Hurley, who is the cook for Doctor A. Lawrence Lowell, President-Emeritus of Harvard University, residence at 171 Marlboro Street.  Miss Mary Brown, another employee, greeted us at the door.  Maurice had a fine time for himself in the Lowell home, running around the kitchen and pantries, eating ginger cookies, etc.  Hannah presented him with a box of Schrafft’s chocolates.

On the way to see Hannah, I drove by the scene of the disastrous Cocoanut Grove fire at Broadway and Church Street, where more than 500 lost their lives 4 weeks ago.

 Transcribed by Kathy Dullea Hogan