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					ADVANCED VCE Unit 15
Sports Science
21.1 About this Unit Playing sports well depends on the body being correctly prepared to
achieve optimum performance and avoid injury and also on any equipment used being
designed for its purpose and being used correctly. The design of sports equipment is
therefore important both to carry out its intended function and to minimise the risk of injury
to the user.

This unit will enable you to find out about how science is involved in sport both in terms of
the action of the body and the design of the equipment used. The specific areas of the body
which carry out exercise and sporting activities are considered in the context of their
structure and function. The supporting areas, breathing, blood supply and energy, are also
studied, as well as the physics of relevant areas such as movement, forces, friction and
dynamics. Those physical factors are considered in relationship to the design of items of
sports equipment and the need for optimum performance of both equipment
and user. Some properties of materials will also be studied, since the choice of materials is
important when constructing sports equipment. You will learn about:
the effects on the body of playing sport;
the best ways of preparing the body for sporting success;
what the common injuries are, which are linked to particular sports;
how to carry out basic first aid for such injuries should they occur;
occupations involving Sports Science.

This unit will be of use to anyone who is interested in sport, design or health and fitness.
This unit links with the Advanced Science VCE unit 13 (Choosing and Using Materials), unit
4 (Controlling the Transfer of Energy) and unit 2 (Monitoring the Activity of the Human
Body). It also links with the Intermediate GNVQ module ‘The Science of Sports
Equipment’. There are also links to NVQ units in Outdoor Education and Recreation
The work that you do for this unit develops knowledge and skills covered in Intermediate
Science GNVQ and/or GCSE Science. It will also help to prepare you for higher education
courses in science or for science-related NVQs. This unit is assessed through your portfolio
work. The grade on that assessment will be your grade for the unit.

21.2 What you need to Learn You will learn about the structure and function of those
parts of the body involved in sporting/exercise activities. The muscular-skeletal
system forms the basis of the movement function, whilst the cardiorespiratory system
supports this. Diet is important in producing optimum performance for both health and
fitness and the foods which we eat provide both energy and growth. Some substances have a
negative effect on health and/or energy and/or growth. Methods of measuring these factors
are important in their determination. Items of sports equipment have a variety of functions
relating to exercise and may be specific to certain outcomes. Exercise and sport near to
thebody’s limits may cause injury and it is important to recognise what
these limits are, what injuries can occur and how they are treated.
Sport and the body You will need to know:
the function of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints, related to their use in two or
more sports;
the different types of joints with examples of each, and the type of movement of particular
the major muscles involved in movement in various sporting activities;
the forces involved in movement and support, using and applying the principles of
movements and Newton’s Laws of motion to actions;
the major parts of the heart, explaining their functions, and describing the working of the
the major blood vessels, explaining their role;
the major parts of the respiratory system, describing the mechanism of breathing.

You need to be able to:
describe both aerobic and anaerobic respiration and relate to exercise, including the role of
ATP in muscles and interconversion of energy sources;
explain the role of macronutrients and micronutrients in promoting good health, and
preparing the body for sporting activity;
describe and explain in detail the effects of alcohol, tobacco and other harmful drugs
(including steroids) on health and fitness. You need to design and implement a personal
health and fitness programme, lasting at least four weeks, to prepare yourself (or another
person) for participation in a sport of your choice. Measurements will be taken to assess
starting condition and might include: weight, external body measurements, flexibility,
stamina, breathing rate, strength, resting pulse rate, recovery time, vital capacity,
blood pressure, actual performance (times, speeds, distances, coordination etc).

You will need to be able to:
assess your health, fitness and performance at the start and end of the programme;
state which factors you are aiming to improve;
evaluate the effectiveness of the programme at the end.
Design of sports equipment There are several groups of materials that can be used to
manufacture sports equipment including metals, polymers, ceramics and composite
materials. The properties of these materials that you need to know about include:
yield strength;
application of Young’s Modulus;
thermal conductivity;
response to changes of temperature;
resistance to the environment;
ease of manufacture;

You also need to know about:
the factors which affect the choice of material from which to make an item of sports
the factors affecting the design of the shape and structure of an item of sports equipment.
In order to decide on the final shape and structure of items of sports equipment,
manufacturers need to consider the forces that will act on it, the forces it could exert on the
user or on other pieces of equipment and the way it needs to behave in order to do its job
effectively. To do this it is necessary to understand and apply the following physics ideas and
the principle of moments;
centre of mass;
Newton’s three Laws of Motion (including inertia and conservation of momentum);
equations of motion;
friction (including coefficient of friction);
terminal velocity;
kinetic energy;
potential energy (both gravitational and elastic).

You will need to design two different items of sports equipment. Suitable items of sports
equipment that you could consider include: hurdles, football boots, cricket bat, golf ball,
rugby ball, golf clubs, swimming goggles, badminton racquet, javelin - though any item of
sports equipment could be considered.
You will need to consider which materials are most suitable for use. In your designs you will
need to show evidence that all the above properties and types of material have been
considered and that some properties have been directly measured, by you, for some of the
materials you have considered. You will also need to consider other design factors, most
importantly, the shape and structure of the items you have chosen.
 First Aid You need to know:
 how to prevent injury;
 what the most common injuries caused by sporting activities are, including
 - fractures;
 - concussion;
 - bleeding;
 - joint injuries;
 - skin damage;
 - muscle injuries;
 - tendon and ligament injuries;
 - dehydration;
 - hypothermia and hyperthermia.
 and how each of these should be treated at the time of injury, by a First Aider.

 You will need to be able to explain the importance of:
 obeying the rules of the sport;
 wearing suitable clothing;
 using the correct equipment;
 warming up and cooling down;
 participating at the correct level to minimise the risk of injury.

 You need to know about the danger of heart attack in unfit and unprepared participants in
 strenuous exercise and of the cessation of periods in females who over-exercise over a long
 period of time.

You also need to know the basic principles of First Aid and emergency procedures, including:
       D danger
          R response
          A airways
          B breathing
          C circulation;
 the Recovery Position;
       R rest
          I ice
          C compression
          E elevation;
 Artificial respiration;
 Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). and be able to explain when each of these should
 be applied by a First Aider.

 You need to produce a case study concerning injury to a sports person (real or imaginary),
 what the injury is;
 how the injury was caused;
 how the injury should be treated both immediately and in the long term (if relevant);
 how the injury could have been prevented.
 You should use the knowledge covered in the Sport and the Body section to explain how the
 injury was caused and what you expect the treatment to do. You must also be able to
 demonstrate that you can check airways, breathing and circulation and that you can put a
 casualty into the recovery position.
Occupations involving the application of science to sport

You will learn about a wide range of occupations that are either directly or indirectly
involved with applying science to sport, including:
those personnel who prepare sports persons to achieve their full potential (dieticians,
coaches, personal trainers);
those who produce sportswear and sporting equipment (designers, materials technologists,
aerodynamics engineers, mechanical engineers);
those who prevent and treat injury (physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors).

You will need to produce a report on the work of one occupation related to applying science
to sport. This report will contain:
what the job actually involves;
how the job is linked to sport;
the qualifications and training routes available to become qualified to do this job;
possible career progression.
           21.3 Assessment evidence for Unit 15 – Sports Science

You need to produce a report containing descriptions of four investigations:
a personal health and fitness programme, lasting at least four weeks, to prepare yourself (or another person) for
participation in a sport of your choice;
designs for two different types of sports equipment;
a case study concerning injury to a sports person (real or imaginary);
a report on an occupation involving the application of science to sport.
Your report must contain evidence that you have understood the biological and physical principles that underpin the
You will also need to:
demonstrate that you can check airways, breathing and circulation;
demonstrate that you can put a casualty into the recovery position;
demonstrate awareness of how to perform artificial respiration and CPR.

To achieve a grade E you must             To achieve a grade C you must show           To achieve a grade A you must also
show you can:                             you can:                                     show you can:

E1 use planning skills to carry out all   C1 explain your choice of dietary and        A1 account for the major properties of
four investigations;                      exercise plan and why it would be            materials used in sports equipment in
                                          appropriate for the sport of your choice,    terms of atomic or molecular structure;
E2 produce a fitness plan based on        and choose sufficient criteria to be able
scientific ideas;                         to competently judge the effectiveness       A2 demonstrate an in-depth knowledge
                                          of the plan;                                 of the biological and physical principles
E3 produce a workable design for                                                       involved in their diet and exercise
sports equipment based on physical        C2 explain your choice of material and       programme, sports items design and
principles;                               design for items of sports equipment;        injury case study;

E4 produce a description of a sports      C3 perform relevant calculations with        A3 critically evaluate the success of your
injury and suggest appropriate            correct units and symbols used;              diet and exercise plan;
treatment based on biological
principles;                               C4 explain, in physiological terms, how      A4 produce alternative designs (with
                                          at least one sports injury could be caused   evidence) and comment on the reliability
E5 produce a report on an                 and how the suggested treatment aids         and validity of the sources used;
occupation related to the science of      repair;
sport;                                                                                 A5 suggest improvements to
                                          C5 correctly apply some relevant             investigations;
E6 apply D.R.A.B.C. and R.I.C.E.          physical principles to your
and know how to perform artificial        designs for sports equipment;                A6 use scientific terminology fluently
respiration and CPR;                                                                   and show a high level of scientific
                                          C6 produce a logical and well-structured     knowledge relevant to the assignments.
E7 place a casualty in the Recovery       report using scientific terminology
Position;                                 correctly.

E8 produce a clear report using basic

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