Sunday, February 9, 2014

Elementary Math - Are kids as strong as Magic Johnson? #LTAD

By Steve Lipofsky
[GFDL ( or
via Wikimedia Commons
The other day Mr. Bonelli asked if Basketball is a wise thing to play with kids under the age of 10 on Twitter?

Here is the elementary math answer:
The Basketball ball weight is according to NBA 624 grams - that is 601 grams more than a Floorball ball or above 25 times as much as one Floorball ball, at 23 grams.

But that is not the right answer.. Let us take Magic Johnson - he is a big guy, but still not too big - he was listed for a weight of 100 kilograms during his career. This means you need to pile up 160 basketballs to weigh as much as him.. OR we may say ONE BASKETBALL WEIGH just a little more than 0.6% of the body weight of a big Basketball player. No we are still on the wrong track here - this is supposed to be about kids...

An average child that is 9 years old weigh about 28 kilograms (or 61,6 lbs) You need a pile of 45 Basketballs to weigh the same. BUT NOW THE ONE Basketball suddenly represents 2,2% of the players own weight - maybe not much of a difference huh - well the ball now - in relative terms is ALMOST 4 times as heavy for an average 9 year old as compared to Magic Johnson. Is that fair?

If a basketball ball represents 2.2% Of the body weight on a nine year old player - a Floorball represents 1/25th of the Basketball weight.  So with the floorball we fall off the percent scale - but we also fall off the per mille (per thousands scale) in is first at the measurement of ten thousands of the child's body weight we find the relative value - in percent it looks like this 0.08 percent. That is 2.2 versus 0.08 per cent.

Math is crazy, it just plotters out numbers and not much understanding. So let us sum this up in words instead.
If Magic Johnson were to play with a Basketball that is as heavy as it is for a nine year old Magics new ball would weigh in closer to 2,5 kilogram or almost 5.5 lbs (it is like a medicine ball) to be fair play.
But we have skipped one thing in this comparison - we have only compared the weight of different balls and players weight. If we now add the muscle strength...
If a child is nine and the comparative weight of the ball is almost 4 times higher as compared to Magic Johnson's ball - then to compensate for the lack of body weight the child ought to be almost 4 times stronger too as compared to Mr. Johnson - to be able to dunk the ball...

Mr. Bonelli, we understand why you asked that good question...   #LTAD

Or is there anything wrong with this reasoning?
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Research suggest that eye-injuries are more common in Floorball as compared to Tennis, but less common as compared to Squash (similar to Racquetball).
To minimize this risk of injury Floorballcentral recommend: Use certified protective eye-wear (mandated in many European areas for the youth). Do not lay down on the court. Follow the rules strict on stick height.

Also if you get addicted to this sport - do not blame us!