Assignment 6

by

Jackson Huckaby

The football rules in college football were changed to make the uprights 5 feet narrower than previously. Many game commentators have harped about how much harder it is to kick field goals from hash marks. Assume the field goal is attempted from the hash mark. At what yard marker does the kicker have maximum angle to the two uprights.

Is there any merit to some commentators argument to take a penalty in order to have a "better angle" on the attempt?

Notes. The goal posts are 18.5 ft wide.

The hash marks are 40 feet apart.

The end zone is 30 feet in depth.

A GSP construction can be found here.

What we see is that the maximum angle for kicking a field goal would actually fall in the end zone. If you theoretically kicked a field goal from the 1 yard line (not technically possible) the angle would be approximately 24 degrees. The angle actually decreases the farther you move back from the goal line, the longest field goal every kicked was from 67 yards. This kick had an angle of 5 degrees.

Because of this, there would be no logically point in taking a penalty to back the ball up, seeing as this would only decrease your angle and increase your kick distance!