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Idea for “Mathematics Baseball”

May 8, 2005

As part of their seating assignment, each student is assigned to one of two teams. A game consists of 4? (6?) “innings” – one team on defense, one team on offense. Each team needs to select a team name, a “manager”, and a statistician. The team on defense selects (rotates?) a pitcher who picks the questions for the other team as each player comes up to “bat”. If the batter gets the question right he gets on base. If he misses the question, I select a defensive player to answer the question instead (perhaps by rolling dice). If the defensive player gets the question right, he gets the batter out, otherwise, the batter gets on base on an error. A team stays at bat until 3 outs have occurred or 6 players have batted, whichever comes first. Runs are scored when a team advances a player all the way around; each inning starts off with no one on base.

Variations to add later on:

  • Extra bases: If a batter gets on base, he has the option of selecting a bonus question to get from 1-3 extra bases. If he misses the question, it’s given to the defense as before, except if the defense misses, the batter only receives one extra base on the error.
  • Double play: If the batting team has a runner on base with less than two outs, and the current batter misses the question, the defense has the option of trying for a double-play by answering a different (or additional?) question. If the defense gets the question right, the most recent runner on base is also out. If they get it wrong, the batter is still out, but the runners advance.
  • Stolen base: This requires that each defender play a specific position. Each team is given two opportunities per game to steal a base. If a team has runners on base, the manager can elect to exercise this option before a question is pitched to the current at bat. The runner stealing the base faces off against the defender of the base being stolen (the catcher defends home plate). I give them the same question; whoever gets the question right first decides. If the runner gets it, he takes the base; if the defender does, the runner is out.
  • All-Stars/Tournament: I will post “box scores” for each game for each class. If the students really get into this and the classes are of comparable skill levels, we could have a “tournament” in which the winning team of each class goes up against the other winning teams. Since there would be three teams for each subject, it would probably have to be some kind of round-robin tournament.
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