Who benefits most from Bolt speed?

Take an existing athlete and grant the following power: Once a day, can run as fast as Usain Bolt for 10 seconds.

A) Who benefits the most?
B) What sports would be broken with currently existing rules?
C) What sports would be broken at first, but would adapt once people know of this skill?

I’m thinking the answer to A is perhaps a long jumper. Because you’re combining someone who is already skilled at jumping and giving an added speed boost. So with some training, this person could potentially go from worst to first and break world records in a phenomenal fashion.

I don’t think the answer is 100 meter sprinting, because you could only potentially go from worst to tied for first and that’s assuming you get through all the heats in the day to finally use the speed in the finals.

As for breaking a sport, maybe being able to consistently run a kickoff back for touchdown? Or blocking a field goal and running it back for TD? But teams would start to adapt to those.

You could steal a base pretty easily with Bolt speed, but a one-time effect isn’t going to matter much across a whole baseball game. Same with fast breaking for an easy layup in basketball.

Scoring a soccer goal might have a significant impact on soccer outcomes.

Hmm, upon further reflection, I am thinking it might be a boxer or UFC fighter.

Sumo wrestling.

400 pounds moving at 10m/s would be pretty unstoppable.

A boxer? Are you serious? How is running really fast for 10 seconds going to help them? I’m no boxing expert, but I know there are a lot of skills involved in boxing (chiefly footwork and very high overall fitness), and running very fast in a straight line isn’t one of them.

The only one of your examples I can agree with is long jump (or triple jump, for the same reason). Pole vault and high jump may also have some small benefits from this ability. I can’t think of any sport that would be “broken” by it. Even in soccer, where a single goal can make a big difference, I don’t think it makes that much impact on the game as a whole, simply because this ability is far from guaranteed to result in a goal. What you have to remember is that professional athletes in most games like soccer are already very good at running fast. I bet there are several professional footballers who can already run a sub-11-second 100m, for example, so making them 10% faster is not going to change a lot. Defences already have strategies for coping with this.

Sumo is an interesting one but in the confines of a sumo ring, you are not going to have room to reach top speed, and in any case your opponent is likely to be able to deflect your “charge”, leaving you falling out of the ring.

Sorry, I don’t think this is a very interesting question.

The long jump requires precise placement of each footstep(same for the triple jump and pole vault). Sudden added speed would completely throw that off.

Once a day burst of speed over 100 yards helps almost nobody significantly. Sure, there are a few sports and positions where it would help for that one play, but the sprint speed is still only one part of that play, so the athelete still needs to be competitive in all the other aspects. And they need to be competetive for the rest of the game aside from that one play.

For example a wide receiver could use a burst of speed, but they still need to be able to catch the ball on the run, run a route to be where the QB expects (not trivial if the receiver is suddenly much faster), get past the cornerback bumping them at the line of scrimmage, and most importantly, be fast enough the rest of the day to make the football team in the first place.

Likewise other positions could use a turbo button once in a while. In decreasing chance of needing it in any particular game - US football defensive back, soccer forward, soccer defender, baseball outfielder, baseball batter (running out an infield hit). But again, once a day this isn’t a game changer, and probably useful less than once per game by the time you get to soccer defender and below. Plus, for most of these, 100-yard top speed isn’t as important as the 40-yard acceleration, anyway.

Other sports, basketball and hockey have no use for 100-yard running speed. It would certainly be useful for ultimate frisbee; I don’t know about rugby, lacrosse, field hockey, or any other sports.
I did have one thought – if the Turbo boost kicked in regardless of the person’s fatigue level, then it would certainly be a game changer for mid-distance running events. If I could run 1400 meters then, no matter how tired I am, cover the last 100 meters in 10 seconds, that would completely change my 1500 meter ability, and if I was anywhere close to competitive before, make me nigh-unbeatable. But I’m not sure if that was what the OP was thinking of.

It would definintely help me catch that morning train that I seem to miss by about 5 seconds consistently.

In terms of sports, it would only help in a very minor way. After all, for sports and positions that require speed, the athletes are probably only 10% or so slower than Bolt anyway.

I was thinking Football defensive linemen. The ability to cover remarkable distances and plow into the opponent team at a speed like that would work wonders. Even once a game would be a pretty handy tool, and a lot of pigskin games have fairly narrow victories so that even a few extra TD’s could radically shift your team’s overall success.

Edit: it would effectively turn your defense into an offense very briefly. Not that often, but a shift in focus like that would be a nice option.

Good point. I had an old Sega game of NFL football that rated the players on a few stats. For some reason, the year that was reflected in my game, they assessed linebacker Monte Coleman as having the highest rating possible in the game for “Acceleration.”

Well, it might have been too high. I discovered that if you picked a nickel defense, Coleman would line up facing a gap in the opposing line. At the snap, while both lines were just beginning to move, you could accelerate Coleman right through that gap and be on top of the quarterback every time.

Of course it didn’t result in a sack every time…because sometimes it resulted in a fumble, or an interception in the case of a pitch out.

Fantastic acceleration would indeed be useful to a defender in American football.

We’re not talking about some average Joe being given Bolt speed - we’re talking about any existing person. Let’s say it’s Wes Welker - a traditional slot receiver who has excellent field vision and decent enough judgement to kick it into high gear when he sees a hole. That’s nearly a guaranteed TD a game, on top of what he normally produces.

Any other football positions that might benefit more? What about someone super slow like Peyton Manning? Once a game he gets to attempt a mad dash - is that worthwhile? Maybe Derrell Revis, on top of his ridiculousness, can catch someone else from behind once a game?

For baseball, a centerfielder with that sort of speed could really improve his range, and thus the win probability of his team (maybe a quarter of a run a game? I dunno) - AND have a higher chance of putting the talent to regular use each day.

Tell that to Dave Roberts in 2004. One stolen base turned the entire world series around for the Red Sox.

The problem with football players is that they’re already pretty damn fast. The fastest run a 40 yard dash in under 4.4 seconds. There’s all sorts of calculations for Bolt’s 40 yard time, but most are aroudn 4.0 to 4.2 seconds. Damn fast, but when were talking about the quickness of plays and the normally short distance covered, it’s not going to make a huge difference.

I could see a limited use for a RB in football. Use thier normal skills to bust through the line then kick in the turbo once a game in the open field. Especially from a run deep in thier own territory. By the time they are throgh the safties would have already committed to an angle and then get blown past before they could correct.

You could probably use it in rugby (either form) to secure one converted try, as that kind of speed would allow you to loop round the last defender for an easy run in. But even that opportunity may not always come up in a game, and if the other team were aware of it, they could take steps to counter it fairly easily (though it would hurt their overall performance, no doubt). As I said earlier (echoed by others), some of these players are really good sprinters already, I would suggest most professional rugby backs can cover 100m in around 12 seconds, and given the important stuff happens over a much shorter distance than that, it’s really not a big deal.

The idea of using it for mid-distance running is brilliant. The key here is you can see how your competitors are doing before you commit to the speed burst at the end. So I think it really does make someone nigh-unbeatable.

It doesn’t work for longer distances, because the superior runners will be so far ahead that the speed boost cannot overcome it. Interestingly, it also doesn’t work for 200m or 400m.

As for long jump timing… presumably you would practice with the speed boost beforehand so you have the new timing down.

As for football, even being only 10% faster than everyone else can be critically important because there’s a tiny difference between success and being stopped. Also, I think the high salaries in the sport would make this a big benefit, financially.

For fighting, punching power is generated from the legs. If you could pick a strategic moment in any fight and move extremely quickly to get a surprise knockout win, then it would be a huge competitive benefit. And very hard to adapt against. Fans would love to see this, so it could become a sensation. Then, the athlete can “write their own ticket” and demand large purses to appear.

Then there’s this guy, who is also pretty fast.

I’d guess even less of a deal than that. Nigel Walker was a 110m hurdler who took up rugby in the early 1990s, and while he performed creditably for Wales he was by no means a game-breaker. Being able to beat anyone once per game in a fair 100m sprint is all well and good, but first you need the chance for the fair 100m sprint, and as you say, the opposition are going to be shutting that down by any fair means even if they’re not fore-warned. More often than not, you’d be lighting the afterburners only to find the gap you were aiming to exploit wasn’t there any more, and there’s your once-per-day magic advantage wasted.

That story reminds me of Renaldo Nehemiah, the world-record-setting 110m hurdler who became a not-all-that-impressive wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers.

It might work in rugby sevens with more room. Take this American sprinter - he was the 40th fastest 100m sprinter in the country - not enough to make the Olympic team, but really, really fast. Never having played the game before, he was given a crash course and a spot on the National Team for the World Championships.

This was the result.

Those aren’t second tier teams he’s playing against, either. It’s New Zealand and South Africa.

I actually think the power described, if given to an already All Star-caliber baseball player, would turn him into the most statistically valuable person in the game and dramatically increase his team’s effectiveness over 162 regular season games.

Let’s say you gave the power to Ryan Braun, possibly-steroid-enhanced outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. Braun could use this turbo speed in four ways:
[ul][li] Stretching singles into doubles, doubles into triples, and triples into inside-the-park home runs[/li][li] Getting infield singles that would otherwise be ground outs[/li][li] Scoring from first or second on hits that would otherwise leave him stranded at second or third.[/li][li] Stealing second base with close to 100% success (at 4.0 seconds per 40 yards, he’d get from first to second in three seconds or so), and stealing third base at a success rate of probably around 75% or better.[/ul][/li]
So let’s say in 162 games he distributes the turbo boost as follows:
[ul][li] 100 times he stretches and gains +1 total bases (net: sometimes he gets two extra bases thanks to a poor throw, but sometimes he’s thrown out stretching)[/li][li] 20 times he beats out an infield single where previously he was out[/li][li] 20 times he steals a base that he would not have otherwise attempted[/li][li] 22 times he is unable to use his power successfully (he strikes out four times in four at bats, or something like that)[/ul][/li]
Braun’s actual slash stats last year were .319/.391/.595, with 30 steals. This made him one of the best players in baseball.

With this power, under the circumstances above, he’d have hit .353/.421/.703, with 50 steals and some unspecified additional number of runs scored. This would have been one of the top 10 seasons by a baseball player of all time. I don’t have the math mojo to figure out how many wins the difference would be worth to his team… but I’m guessing the answer is around three… which, depending on the team against which they came, might have put the Brewers in the playoffs as a wild card.