High School Math Course focused on Sports

I am an high school math teacher and want to develop a math course that is totally focused on sports. It would be a senior level course and would focus on the math and analytics of sports.

I just wanted to see if anyone out there has created a math course like this and if they would be willing to talk about it. I'm starting from scratch and would like to plan it for next year. I just need to plan it and get the school board to approve the course.

Anyways, if you've done something like this drop me a line.

• A Google search shows some courses and books. No personal perspective sorry. Wish you luck. Keep it simple and interesting. That is more important than rigor or span of coverage. – guest Jan 24 '18 at 21:43
• A possible reference is Teaching Statistics Using Baseball. – Joel Reyes Noche Jan 25 '18 at 1:14
• How about a math course focused on cars? – Dan Christensen Jan 26 '18 at 14:44

3 Answers

A variety of ideas in discrete mathematics/graph theory can be used for a course related to mathematical ideas for use in the area of sports. For example, one can study tournament graphs, complete directed graphs on n-vertices. When there is a "round robin" tournament one records using a edge from the vertex representing team A to the vertex representing team B that team A beat team B. How can one rank the teams in the tournament using the information in this graph? One can also study ways to fairly schedule home and away games for teams which play several games against each other in a tournament. For more details see this "survey:"

http://www.ams.org/publicoutreach/feature-column/fcarc-sports

which has many references at the end.

(1) There is an edX course entitled Math in Sports, with the following prereqs:

Participants will be expected to have a basic knowledge of high school math up to Algebra II, exposure to some probability, statistics, and geometry will be helpful, but is not required.

It could be worthwhile to enroll in this course. Taught by a professor of Math and a professor of Physics, Notre Dame. YouTube promotional video.

(2) Sports Math.

Minton, Roland B. Sports Math: An Introductory Course in the Mathematics of Sports Science and Sports Analytics. CRC Press, 2016. (Google books.)

Here from Mathematical Reviews, 2017:

The book is written at a level that is accessible to a large audience. It contains a small number of applications that make use of calculus; otherwise, only a high school level mathematics background is required. Furthermore, one can easily skip over those sections that require calculus and still have plenty of accessible material to read.

Sports Math is well written and easy to read. The book should appeal to anyone interested in the quantitative aspects of athletics. Each chapter of the books ends with a fairly large number of exercises and also pointers to further reading. Thus, the book could be used not only as a textbook for a course but also as a nice resource for student projects.

Projectile Motion, p.9.

Caveat: I have not used either of these resources.

If your course is statistics, apparently Teaching Statistics Using Baseball is good enough to have warranted a second edition.

Same caveat for me: I have not used this (or taught a stats class).