Friday, June 7, 2013
Mark Cuban gives SMU $100K to study “flopping” problem in NBA
Flopping is a player’s deliberate act of falling, or recoiling unnecessarily from a nearby opponent, to deceive game officials.
Official 2012-2013 NBA “Flopping” Video
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is so fed up with the NBA's "flopping" problem that he's taking matters into own hands (or wallet, to be more exact).
Cuban's company Radical Hoops Ltd. has awarded SMU a $100,000 grant to have biomechanics experts study player flopping, according to an SMU news release.
Flopping is a player’s deliberate act of falling, or recoiling unnecessarily from a nearby opponent, to deceive game officials. Athletes engage in dramatic flopping to create the illusion of illegal contact, hoping to bait officials into calling undeserved fouls on opponents.
“The issues of collisional forces, balance, and control in these types of athletic settings are largely uninvestigated,” SMU biomechanics expert Peter G. Weyand, who leads the research team, said in the release. “There has been a lot of research into balance and falls in the elderly, but relatively little on active adults and athletes.”
The goal of the research is to investigate the forces involved in typical basketball collisions, said Weyand, an associate professor of applied physiology and biomechanics in the SMU Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.
The researchers will look at how much force is required to cause a legitimate loss of balance. They’ll also examine to what extent players can influence the critical level of force via balance and body control. They will also explore techniques by which the forces involved in collisions might be estimated from video or other motion capture techniques.
The research findings could conceivably contribute to video reviews of flopping and the subsequent assignment of fines, Weyand said.
“It may be possible to enhance video reviews by adding a scientific element, but we won’t know this until we have the data from this study in hand," he added.
The study will last 18 months.