Maths In Sport

When I first heard we were going to be having lecture on maths in sport, I was extremely confused as I couldn’t think of a link between the two subjects.  However, after some research yesterday, and todays input, I have been made aware of the links between these subjects and discovered how the fundamentals of mathematics are used in the majority of sports.

Before todays input, I researched the ways in which maths is used in basketball, and was amazed by the many ways in which maths can influence a player’s performance. I discovered that the force, the length of the players arms and their speed are only some factors which influence a players shot. Angles are another mathematical concept which regularly appear in basketball. For example, if shooting behind the free through line, a smaller angle is necessary as the player is closer to the hoop, and when a defender is trying to block a player a higher shot is necessary. To achieve this, elbows should be as close to the face as possible and the shot should be taken from a 45 degree angle (, 2017).

At the beginning of todays input, we studied an old football league table in our groups. We then rearranged it to look like a modern league table, which we would see today. My group began by noting down the differences between the old and new league tables, and then started making changes to the old table. First we rearranged the teams in order of who came first, depending on the amount of games won. We also used simple algebra to work out the amount of points each team had, as we discovered that, on the old league table, if you multiplied the team’s amount of games won by two and added the number of games they drew, you would receive the final answer of how many points they had (winnings x2 + number of  games drawn = total number of points).

After this activity, my group decided to create a new set of rules for netball. We considered the length of the court, the distance in which each player can move and the likelihood of teams scoring, while constructing the new set of rules.

By extending the courts length, more opportunities would be available for changeovers, as more space provided a longer distance for the ball to travel. Providing three hoops instead of one creates a higher chance for points to be made, as players have a choice to decide which hoop they are more likely to score depending on the angle in which they are positioned.

We also made a rule where the closer the player shoots from the hoop the more points their team will receive. This makes the game more exciting and competitive.

Another factor we could have considered is the surface area of the court. Having the court raised in the middle would make it difficult for players to get the ball to the other side of the pitch, as gravity would be forcing the ball back down the hill (Gravity, 2017).

In this new version of netball with new rules, players would have to consider maths constantly throughout the game. They would have to visualise the angles they should use to position themselves in order to have a higher chance of shooting. They would have to calculate the distance in which they have to pass the ball as a longer court means a greater distance for the ball to travel. Players would also have to use basic addition and subtraction skills to work out which hoop would give their team the most points and how many points are needed to win the game.

From this input, I have discovered how many fundamental mathematical concepts are used by, not only league table creators, but also by sports players to improve their performance e.g. distance, speed and time.

In the future when I have my own class, I would like to highlight to pupils how basic mathematical concepts are used in every day activites such as sport. This will provide a good example to show how maths is relevant in other subjects they may be interested in (The Scottish Government, 2008).


Gravity. (2017). In: Oxford Dictionary, 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (2017) Maths in Basketball-How Maths is used in sport. (Online) Available at: (Accessed 6 Nov. 2016).

The Scottish Government (2008) curriculum for excellence building the curriculum. Available at: (Accessed: 7 November 2017).

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