Using Baseball to Teach Math


April 1, 2024

As spring fever starts you might want to consider using baseball to teach math. There is no sport that is more a game of mathematics! 

“Properly played, baseball consisted of mathematics, geometry, art, philosophy, ballet, and carnival, all intertwined like the mystical ribbons of color in a rainbow.” (W.P. Kinsella)

When I began researching activities to incorporate baseball into math instruction, my first surprise was how many wonderful resources have been developed directly by Major League Baseball. Let’s start with those and then move into the many other things available for teachers.

Educational Resources From MLB

The Blue Wahoos baseball team has an amazing curriculum page for elementary students with all kinds of free baseball themed educational resources! See Kazoo University for Ballpark Math, Baseball Math: Dimensions, Word Problems, Graphs, and so much more. They even have videos for using baseball to teach math! Here’s an example:

Summer Slugger is a free baseball-themed and gamified math and literacy course developed by the MLB for 4th and 5th graders to complete at home. Topics covered in the 36 Summer Slugger series include units of measure, place value, arithmetic, geometry, spelling, phonemic awareness, vocabulary and comprehension. Each series is designed to take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Real Life Math: Baseball In this PBS video for grades 6-12 the assistant general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks explains how he uses math. Attached activities include a frequency table and practice with mean, median, mode, and range.

Hands On Games For Small Group, Homeschooling, or Tutoring

Math Facts Baseball. This is a fabulous game for developing number sense and fact fluency, as well as introducing the idea of probability/possible outcomes.

Also see printable games at the bottom of this post!

Classroom Games

Classic Baseball Math just like when I was in elementary school! This can be used with any math problems you want. Divide students into two teams. Draw a baseball diamond on your whiteboard (or make actual bases in your classroom if you want.). One team will start at bat. They can choose a question worth one, two or three bases depending on difficulty. The teacher “pitches” the questions. If the answer is correct the batting team moves a magnet to the appropriate base (or the player moves to the base). If the batting team answers incorrectly, the other team can respond correctly to earn an out. After three outs, switch sides. Play until one team hits 10 runs.

Here’s a modern version of the classic game using Google Slides

Baseball Math from Scholastic. This game is for upper elementary/middle school students to learn in a practical way the relationship between fractions, decimals and percentages. This is designed to be an ongoing game taking about 10 minutes a day for 10 days.

Online Games

Baseball Math Games on has multiple games which use the same format of answering a question and then clicking on a moving ball to advance to bases. Choices for game content include all four operations, decimals, fractions, place value, rounding, and time change. Graphics are very basic.

Baseball Pro Multiplication practices multiplication facts. Players have to swing their baseball bat at the correct time to hit the ball, then answer a question. It may be my laptop, but hitting the ball was harder than I expected!

Grand Slam Math Addition on Math Playground has multi step word problems using addition and subtraction. A multiplication/division version is also available. This game advances players automatically with a correct answer and does not require actually hitting the ball.

Math Baseball on FunBrain for K-5. Solve math problems to advance to bases and score runs. This game advances players automatically with a correct answer and does not require actually hitting the ball. You can choose any or all of the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division,) difficulty level, and whether you want the problems to be algebra style. This site also has multiple ads, including an ad you must watch before you can play.

Printable Resources

Mash Up Math Baseball Activities for Grades 1-8 includes puzzles, which one doesn’t belong activities, and think notice wonder prompts.

Baseball Addition Printable game from Math Geek Mama for grades 2-3

Baseball Multiplication Game Mat

Printable Home Run Division Game for grades 2-5

Mr. Nussbaum Baseball Card Math for grades 4 and above.

Baseball Math Printable Book for grades 4-8 includes realistic activities involving baseball, including score keeping, team travel budgets, schedules, and players’ salaries.. Free download from Teacher Vision.

Lesson Plans

These plans for using baseball to teach math mostly focus on statistics and economics. They are appropriate for middle and high school students, though some are adaptable for lower grades. 

Student Explorations in Mathematics: The Mathematics in Baseball from the NCTM

Free lesson plans and virtual field trips from the Baseball Hall of Fame

Baseball Stats for middle school from Science Net Links

Baseball Economics for middle school from EconEdLink

Lesson plans from PBS for grades 6-12 to accompany movie The Tenth Inning (some are adaptable for lower grades)

Statistical Analysis to Rank Baseball Players for grades 11-12

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