Monday, June 11, 2007

Tri-modal distributions



This is an image of tennis courts at Wimbledon via earth.google.com. Examine the wear pattern in the grass along the baselines.

In most of these courts three distinct areas of wear are obvious. Two are on each corner of the baseline to deliver the ball into the service boxes. The third is a more centrally placed area near the baseline where the players position themselves to anticipate the return volley. Additional wear up and down the baseline is added as the games progress. These are examples of tri-modal distributions, with three prominent areas of most frequent use. Other areas of wear can also be seen inside each of the service boxes, perhaps indicating wear due to doubles play.

Two of these courts seem to have more bi-modal wear patterns indicating mainly the serving positions of the players. Are they not playing a baseline game on these courts? Are these courts used exclusively for service practice?

1 comment:

John said...

The wear on the grass is not so much a function of where the player is, but where he/she starts and stops. This is even more reason for the trimodal distn - starting in the middle, the player often makes an abrupt start towards the side where he/she makes and equally abrupt stop to hit the ball.