Mathalicious: Been Caught Stealing

Watching a runner take off during the pitcher’s windup to try for a stolen base is one of the most exciting plays in baseball.

Both the player and the ball are headed for the same place, but the winner in this race depends on precision, speed, and split-second timing.

In this lesson, students will examine some of the mathematics behind stealing second base. They will calculate speeds, distances, and times, and will convert between different units of measurement. Along the way, they’ll also use some geometry to explore the mechanics of this race. Ultimately they’ll answer the question, Just how hard is it to steal a base, anyway?


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Geometry, Sports

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