2013 Archives

'Flopping' research could lead to changes in the NBA


The following text is from the Dec. 16, 2013, edition of WFAA News. Video is from WFAA News and CW33 News. Association Professor Peter Weyand, who is researching "flopping," is a physiologist and biomechanist with SMU's Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Explaining "flopping" research

December 20, 2013


UNIVERSITY PARK — A dramatic gesture is sometimes all it takes to get your opponent in trouble on the basketball court.

Sometimes it's hard to tell what's real.

But with money from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, a research team in Dallas is doing a scientific study on the difference between "fouls" and "flops."

There are entire pages of compilation videos on YouTube showing the best (or worst, depending on your point of view) examples of "flopping" in the NBA — pro basketball players suspected of embellishing the extent of contact with other players to persuade the ref to blow the whistle.

But how can you really tell — even with a replay — when an athlete is, in fact, faking a foul?

With more than $100,000 in funding from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, SMU professor Peter Weyand and his team set out nine months ago on a research project dubbed "The Physics of Flopping: Blowing the Whistle on a Foul Practice."

It's a whimsical name for a study, but one that could change the way the game is played — or at least officiated.

"We try to have fun doing the science," Weyand said. "If we are successful with it, there is a lot of potential application."

Read the full story.

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