Tennis racket design for performance and injury prevention
While injuries to elbow tendons are common among tennis players, the cause of these
injuries is uncertain. Some blame racket vibrations while others claim an enlarged sweet spot increases axial
torque at the handle. For service and hard ground strokes, this project will relate loads on the players arm
to the mechanics of impact between a deformable tennis ball and a deformable racket.
This project involves collaboration with orthopaedic sports medicine practitioners as well as analytical
skills in structural dynamics. The project will develop a dynamic analysis (both analytical and finite
element) of impact by a deformable ball on a deformable racket. The analytical model will be validated with
experimental measurements of dynamic structural response to impact on a tennis racket. Effects of racket
design on loads transmitted to the arm during serves and hard ground strokes will be assessed and these loads
will be compared with injury criteria that must be developed for elbow injuries.
- Hubbard, M., Stronge, W. J. 'Bounce of Hollow Balls on Flat Surfaces', accepted for publication Sports
- Stronge, W. J. 'Mechanics of Impact for Compliant Multi-body Systems', in Unilateral Multibody Dynamics
(eds F. Pfeiffer & C. Glocker) Kluwer Publ., 1999.
- Brody, H. 'Physics of the Tennis Racket', Am. J. Phys., 47(6), 482-487, 1979.
Principal Investigator & Researchers
Funding Body & Tenure
- Partial funding by International Tennis Federation.
- 3 years, starting from Oct. 2003 - Oct. 2006