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ERIC Number: EJ1165730
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
The Slap Shot in Ice Hockey
Cross, Rod; Lindsey, Crawford
Physics Teacher, v56 n1 p7-9 Jan 2018
An ice hockey player can strike a puck at speeds up to about 45 m/s (100 mph) using a technique known as the slap shot. There is nothing unusual about the speed, since golf balls, tennis balls, and baseballs can also be projected at that speed or even higher. The unusual part is that the player strikes the ice before striking the puck, causing the stick to slow down and to bend. There appears to be a significant advantage in hitting the ice before hitting the puck, otherwise hockey players would have learned from experience not to do that. In order to investigate the physics of the problem, the authors set up a simple experiment using a flexible meterstick to simulate a real hockey stick and mounted it as a pendulum so it could swing about an axis near the top end. The results presented in this paper support the fact that hockey players know what they are doing when they slap the ice, even though the result appears at first sight to violate conservation of energy.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A