Volleyball Impact Load

Joseph Montgomery, Aaron Parks, and John Van Weelden

Shoulder pain is relatively common among volleyball players. It is likely that biomechanical factors contribute to the causes of this pain, so understanding the loads applied to the shoulder during a hit or serve might help reduce the incidence of shoulder pain.

Our group designed and built a device to record force data on a volleyball during a hit. The design uses a Tandem Spike Challenger stationary volleyball practice apparatus to hold the ball in place. The tethered ball is covered with a skin that is instrumented with a grid of 16 Flexiforce sensors. A LabVIEW program converts voltage signals to forces via a Cymatic LR-16 audio recorder. A visual on the LabVIEW interface displays the force using colors and numbers.