When you think of math, you probably remember school and textbooks. Maybe your memories are tinged with hating mathematics classes and wanting to be finished with them forever. On the other hand, you may have enjoyed math and looked forward to calculating fractions.
Whether you love or hate math, there is no denying its influence on sports and gambling. Consider the art of betting: There is a surprising amount of mathematics involved. Here are other ways math influences sports and gambling.
1. Sports science
Sports science involves measuring and calculating an athlete’s body weight, strength, and agility. Although the amount of advanced math can vary, almost all sports science programs include data analysis, algorithms, and problem-solving.
Some sports science programs encourage students to have a B.S. in mathematics because it is so helpful. Math creates the foundation you need to understand the human body and its processes. Along with learning about anatomy and physiology, you learn linear algebra and statistics.
For example, throwing an object is important for many sports. You can use math skills to calculate projectile motion to understand how a ball travels through the air and how to help an athlete throw better.
2. Sports engineering
Sports engineering is a unique field that uses engineering to solve problems in sports. For example, it can be used to design sports equipment, improve sports facilities, and research safety. It uses math and physics to answer questions and find answers.
Sports engineering is not the same thing as sports science. Although both disciplines deal with activities and athletes, sports science focuses on what is happening inside the athlete while sports engineering focuses on what is going on outside the athlete’s body.
3. Sports analytics
Sports analytics combines math with analyzing an activity. It involves research, managing statistics, and interpreting data. Sports analytics focuses mainly on data collection and management to help athletes or teams succeed.
Technology has made working in this field much easier because of software programs that can handle many analytics tasks. They can be used to optimize strength, speed, or stamina. They can even show how athletes can prevent injuries from happening. Many professional teams hire sports analysts to help them succeed.
Using historical data, projections can be made on a team or athlete’s future performance. Projections can also be made for betting. In both fields, projections are used as a way to predict the future with the help of mathematics. Data-driven projection strategies are more reliable than other methods, such as astrology. Teams use projections frequently while trying to decide who to hire.
5. Betting and gambling
Math has always played a role in gambling and sports betting. Today, probability formulas are used to predict outcomes. Understanding the odds is a key component of both betting and gambling. It can help decide if a wager is worth going after.
6. Financial management
Sports is a big business, so financial management has become a large part of it. From managing budgets to handling sponsorships, teams now hire people to handle finances. They also need help with advertising and calculating return on investments, which require solid skills in math.
Even smaller teams, such as local soccer leagues for kids, have started to focus on financial management. Many of them are using management software to help them handle registrations, payments, and other aspects.
Seeing math everywhere
Sports and gambling are two examples of math appearing in everyday life. Many students stuck in a math class they are not enjoying wonder if they will ever use the algebra or geometry they are learning. However, mathematics appears everywhere in the world.
For those who are reluctant to recognize the huge impact math has on the world around them, consider taking them to a baseball game. Baseball is one example of a sport that relies heavily on math if you pay attention to it.
The most obvious place where math appears is in the score. As you track the winning and losing teams, you are using math to understand the difference between them. You may want to try using pen and paper to keep track of the score for an extra math challenge. Keeping a scorecard is great practice at a game.
Another way to use a baseball game to see math is to practice statistics. Consider how many people are attending the game and try to estimate attendance throughout the year. This will give you the opportunity to practice averaging and standard deviations.
A baseball fan’s favorite activity may be to track a favorite player’s statistics. You can see a player’s batting average, wins, losses, and other data. Consider taking some of these numbers and doing data analysis on them. You may be surprised by what you discover about your favorite player or team.