Friday Two Cents: Statistics, Who Do You Think Will Win


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The week before the end of the school year is a crazy time. Teachers getting report cards ready, children doing last-minute assignments, end of the year concerts and so on. Everything is coming to ahead for the end of school and the beginning of summer break.

Thankfully though the softball and t-ball leagues I run at the school, are all wrapped up and I have two games left to play. The only games that I was to have this week were the runner-up games.   They were very enjoyable because I and the other teachers participated in the games. Yet the one item I had to finish up was the MVP (Most Valuable Player of the week) awards and the final statistics.

Yes I even keep statistics on the children. They are not that detailed, just on-base percentage (OBP), numbers and types of hits and runs batted in. The beauty of it all is that the children keep the score and I enter the numbers into the computer to get the stats. At the beginning of training camp I would teach every child how to keep score on the score sheet and the teams would do so. They are very enthusiastic and do a great job. Many would think that keeping stats would be detrimental to the children; on the contrary, it encourages them and helps them with their self-esteem. On more than one occasion I would see children looking at the weekly stats and telling others what their numbers are. I even would quote the stats when presenting the weekly MVP awards. The children all look forward to them and it is also a great teaching tool.

You might not think it but it truly is. Many children would ask me how I come up with the stats and then I would explain that it is all simple math.   They all look at me in astonishment and them I would show them on the board how simple and useful math can be. One example is how to get their OBP. I would take the number of times they would get on base (OB) and divide by the number of at bats (AB). Then this would give me the percentage of how many times they get on base.

 OB / AB = OBP –> (10) / (12) = .917 –> .917 * 100 = 91.7%   OBP is .917 or 91.7%

 Simply speaking, I just taught them that math is a part of a game that they enjoy. Crazy is it not?

After I presented the weekly MVPs, I posted the stats for the season before the Championship game. With the final posting of the stats, I include the top ranked players and teams who achieve the most singles, doubles, triples, home runs, OBP and runs batted in (RBI). Everyone was looking it over for several minutes and it spurred conversations and more questions. Questions from how I calculated the stats to why does one team have more of type of hit and not another.

That’s what I love about baseball. You can learn to play the game and yet once you do you can learn something new about it. For the children, without even knowing about it, they learned that math has practical applications beyond the classroom.   Granted they know that they can use math in everyday life but it can also be part of a game you enjoy.

Oh one other question the children kept asking me. ‘Who is going to win the Championship Game?’ I answered with ‘Who do you think will win?’ Many looked at the stats and gave me their predictions.

I’m curious who you think will win based on the stats. The two teams playing the championship game are the Dolphins vs. Lions with the Dolphins having home field advantage. Below are the stats and a poll. Let me know and I will let you know after the game Monday who the winner is and if your predictions were in line with the children’s.

Enjoy!

Stats2014wk07Blog Sheet1_Page_3 Stats2014wk07Blog Sheet1_Page_5

 

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