Dot Physics

Sport Science FTW!

Normally, it isn’t really news when a show doesn’t do anything wrong. I am making an exception for ESPN’s Sport Science. Here is part 2 of Sport Science trying to reproduce Kobe Bryant’s “jumping over a car” stunt.

And here is part 1 (although part 2 is the only interesting part). See. I can get along with Sport Science. Anyway, I am not sure that Kobe’s jump used wires – but I assumed it was fake. Here is my analysis of Kobe’s Jump (this stuff is old). And this is the plot I created from video analysis of Kobe.


The tough thing about looking at Kobe’s jump is that he changes his body position. I had to look at several parts of his body during the jump and kind of estimate the motion of his center of mass.

Sport Science: I hope we can be friends now. I like friends that have cool toys.


  1. #1 Dave X
    April 29, 2010

    Your link to the old analysis has an extra ‘A’ on the end.

    It seemed like the unaided stuntman could get the peak height, but not get the duration above the hood/trunk for all his body parts.

    Could you plot a shape on the graph with the profile of the car’s duration at the different heights? Height-of-car vs t?

  2. #2 Rhett Allain
    April 29, 2010


    Thanks for pointing out the link error. And yes – that is an excellent idea for a graph. I will do that (soon).

  3. #3 rob
    April 29, 2010

    i recall seeing a stuntman do this stunt on tv a while ago. here is a link i found after 15 seconds of trying:

    it was on “That’s Incredible” in the early 80’s. I don’t think the car jump was faked. if i recall correctly, they had multiple camera angles for the stunt. of course, it was >20 years ago…

  4. #4 Rhett Allain
    April 29, 2010


    Yes! I remember that show and I think I remember the guy jumping over a car.

    also, I edited your post so your link would always work.

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