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Recommendations for estimating the moments of inertia of a tennis racket

Taraborrelli, Luca, Grant, Robyn, Sullivan, Matthew, Choppin, Simon, Spurr, James, Haake, Steve and Allen, Thomas ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4910-9149 (2019) Recommendations for estimating the moments of inertia of a tennis racket. Sports Engineering, 22 (11). pp. 1-9. ISSN 1369-7072

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Abstract

Tennis racket properties are of interest to sports engineers and designers as it allows them to evaluate performance, review trends and compare designs. This study explored mathematical models that correlated to the mass moments of inertia of a tennis racket, both about an axis through the butt and about the longitudinal axis, using its dimensions, mass and centre of mass location. The models were tested on 416 rackets, dating from 1874 to 2017. Results showed that moments of inertia about the butt and longitudinal axis can be estimated to within − 4 to 5% and − 11 to 12% of measured values, respectively, using the proposed models on original rackets. When rackets were customised, with 30 g of additional mass, moment of inertia about the butt could be estimated within 6%, but the model for moment of inertia about the longitudinal axis was less accurate (largest error at 25%). A Stepwise Linear Regression model indicated that racket mass and then centre of mass location had the largest effect on moment of inertia about the handle, with head width having the largest effect on moment of inertia about the longitudinal axis.

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