Baseball is an iconic sport in our country, and it's easy to enjoy—whether you're a huge MLB fan or just love watching your kids play a game of catch in the back yard. But beyond the love of the game, baseball provides a great opportunity to develop...math skills! Now that my son plays travel baseball, I've become increasingly aware of the role that mathematics plays in this great game. Statistics are important in every sport, but especially in baseball. There's a statistic for every position, play, hit, throw, catch, etc. I had no idea how much math my son was doing by just watching and playing this sport!
Encourage your child to develop a love of both math and baseball with these five activities:
1. Score a Game – The easiest way to teach math at a baseball game is to teach your child the official way to score a game—not online or through electronics but with a paper and pencil. Every MLB ballpark will provide a free paper copy to score a game. See instructions for how to score a game.
2. Track the Pitch Count – Every pitcher has a pitch count, which is kept by counting the number of pitches thrown in each game. Starting in Little League, all pitches get counted. Your child can track a player's pitch count throughout the game and see which player has the highest or lowest pitch count.
3. Count Stolen Bases – One of my son’s favorite things to do is steal bases. Your child can count and keep track of the number of stolen bases for each team. She can do this for several games or for a series. At the end of the games/series, she can average the number of stolen bases to see who had a better average over the games/series.
4. Estimate Attendance – Have your child predict and estimate the number of people attending the game. Each ballpark has a great story to tell and can hold a certain number of spectators. Have him estimate the average number of fans at a game. Then, search online to find the actual number and see how close your child’s estimation was. Doing this for different games and ballparks can really improve his number sense and estimation skills.
5. Track a Favorite Player's Stats – If your child has a favorite player, she can begin to keep track of the player's batting average and other key statistics. Your child can visit ESPN to view a specific player and determine the player's at bats, hits, run, catches, etc. Help her create a spreadsheet to track the player's performance over a series or season.
Whether your child is simply counting to keep score of the game or using decimals for stats or calculating a player’s batting average, it's all an amazing way to open up his eyes to how important math is—even in a fun game of baseball! And for more baseball-related math fun, download this free Solve B for Baseball math printable.