The college rules for the length of the uprights were changed a few years ago by decreasing all collegiate uprights by 5 feet. Since sports commentators have been harping on that rule change by making comments that teams should take penalties in order to get a better angle for the kicker. This assignemt will explore the dimensions of the new football and whether it is true that kickers would have a better angle if they took a penalty. Below is a collegiate football field with relevent dimensions labeled and scaled.
As we can see by the dimensions, which are in feet and yards, the uprights are now 6.5 yards apart, between the hashmarks is 13.34 yards and it is 20 yards to each side line from its respective hashmark. So if the kicker were to kick a field goal from the hashmarks, we could construct a circle that intersects three points, in particular the two uprights and the spot on the hashmarks where the ball will be kicked from (U1, U2 and K(L or R)). Therefore all we have to determine which angle will be the greatest using these three points and sliding the kicker's point along the hashmarks. So will notive that the greater the size of the circle, the smaller the angle but the smaller the circle, the greater the angle. This is demonstrated below:
Since the angle measure is greatest the closer the kicker kicks to the uprights, then we can conclude that the sports commentators' concerns are unwarranted and that they need to have a small geometry lesson before they make comments like this again.