Are baseball games getting longer?

March 28th was opening day for this year's Major League Baseball season. It's a good time for some Major League Baseball math! In this activity students think about how major league game lengths have changed over time. Is there a need to pick up the pace of the game?  Have baseball games been getting longer?  If so, why is that?

Students examine two scatter plots and a line graph to decide how the average length of time for an MLB game has changed and by what rate.  As they analyze the causes for that change they observe the average number of pitchers per game, historically, and how the ratio of foul balls to balls in play has changed.

Before handing out the activity consider starting by asking student how long they think a Major League Baseball game takes to play.  Do they think games are taking longer or are they getting shorter and why?

Here is a great video that you and your class can watch right after the first scatter plot. Just be aware, that at 2:04 in the video, David Ortiz is bleeped out saying "bullsh__".

And here is a great article - "Foul Balls Are the Pace-of-Play Problem That No One Is Talking About".

The activity: Are-baseball-games-getting-longer.pdf

This activity could be used with any age group from 5th grade up if you don't emphasize a line of best fit.

CCSS: 8.SP.1, 8.SP.2, 8.SP.3, HSS.ID.B.6, HSS.ID.C.7, You could also address with tech: HSS.ID.C.8

For members we have an editable Word docx, our Excel sheets of data, and solutions.

Are-baseball-games-getting-longer.docx     MLB-games-getting-longer.xlsx



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