Major League Math
Sanctuary Woods has a terrific idea in Major League Math (ages 9-13). Integrate basic ideas (addition subtraction, percentages) and more advanced concepts (probability, sophisticated averaging) with baseball. You can choose to play a four inning game or a World Series, which goes nine innings. All 28 major league teams are represented. Before each pitch, whether batting or pitching, you are presented with a math problem incorporating baseball or individual player statistics. You exercise your managerial skills as well as your math intellect by selecting from a range of options for your players (bunt, power swing, curve ball, sinker, etc.). A little graph lets you know how you’re doing. If you need a break from the main game, there are games called “power-ups” which provide an opportunity to increase your hitting/fielding/running/pitching power (to insure that you won’t abandon the program and just play the power-up games, you have a limited number of visits). Eight different trivia sections offer some genuinely interesting information on baseball ranging in obscurity from the drop third strike rule to Leroy Paige’s nickname (Satchel). There’s even a page devoted to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball league. But back in the heart of the game, despite some useful conversion work (pounds to ounces, tons to pounds, etc.), the math seems a bit elementary for a 13-year old about to be bombarded with either Pre- or regular Algebra (multiplying and dividing is good for 3rd and 4th grade, not 7th and 8th). Bottom line? Not enough hard math.
– August 1996