The NCAA Champion Magazine had a great feature on the Washington State Sports Science Lab which is testing the new technology in college baseball.
Thwack! Boom! Ping! These are the sounds of a hard day’s work at the Washington State University Sports Science Laboratory. With the push of a button, a cannon is fired, projecting a baseball or softball toward a bat for testing. The data gathered in the experiments are then analyzed. The goal: maintaining the integrity of the two sports.
In arid eastern Washington, more than 1,400 miles removed from the fanfare of the Men’s and Women’s College World Series, a small group of engineers safeguard the competitive balance of those games — often without ever stepping foot on a diamond. They blast baseballs from cannons, analyze the reactions of materials and designs, help shape equipment standards and, in the end, directly influence the way the games are played.
Lloyd Smith, director of the lab and a professor in Washington State’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, has worked with his staff of employees and undergraduate and graduate students since the late 1990s to research the dynamics of bat-and-ball collisions, and how those translate to performances on the field.
You can check out the full article by clicking here.