Friday, 8 August 2014

Fantasy Football Maths

Many teachers I know used the World Cup as a context for learning in the summer term of the last academic year. There were lots of resources around to help on websites such as and Lee Parkinson also produced an ebook of iPad lessons which was a very useful guide to help teachers incorporate the context of the World Cup into their children's learning.

Now that the World Cup has ended, there is the new football season nearly upon us. Every season, many of the daily newspapers organise a Fantasy Football competition. For the uninitiated, the idea is that you pick a team of 11 players who all have different valuations. You have a given budget to work with. Each player then earns points for your team for things they do in real-life matches such as score a goal, keep a clean sheet etc.

The data provided for the game provides lots of maths opportunities.

1. Addition and subtraction of numbers involving decimals.
2. Money problems - working within a given budget and working out change.
3. Data-handling. For example, pupils could generate questions for other pupils to answer about the players in the goalkeepers section. Drawing bar charts, Venn Diagrams, Carroll Diagrams of player information.
4. Investigating all possibilities through different formations of 11 eleven players e.g. 4-4-2, 4-3-3 etc. Could also work out all the different ways that a team could score a given number of points.
5. Percentages - if all player values were reduced by 10%, which players would you pick now?
6. Investigating truth of a given statement e.g. Liverpool has the highest total value of players.
7. Ordering decimals - For example, pick 8 players at random and order their values.

These are just a few ideas that I came up with quickly, I am sure there are many more. The good thing about the Daily Telegraph Fantasy Football is that you don't need to log in/register to pick a team or see the player information so the children can work on it using laptops/ipads.

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