Math Is Real Life! Baseball Tournaments!

It’s the first Wednesday of July which means it’s time for our monthly linky – Math IS Real Life!!  If you want to see how the linky works, or just want other real world math ideas, check out our Pinterest Board of all the posts so that you can look back and find some great ideas and REAL pictures to use in your classroom!  
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Although I have been a “baseball mom” for MANY years now, this is the first year I have had more responsibilities within our local baseball organization–and I quickly saw how many HOURS AND HOURS these big tournaments take the volunteers to get organized.  Today I thought I’d share some of the math I saw as I helped out!
The simple creation of brackets are a beautiful examples of math…cutting the field in half after each round.  There is an entire science to the study of brackets!  This was a pretty simple one!
Every ball tournament has different rules, regulations, and tie breakers!  This tournament had the rule that any ties would be broken with the cumulative run differential over the first three games…so wins earn you “positive” runs and losses count as “negative” runs.  If there is still a tie…they work down the next steps!  We didn’t have to use the tie breaking protocol this tournament, but we have in the past.  

If you are involved in youth sports, you know that tournaments are a great way for teams to make money.  This tournament was a biggie, so we had a pretty massive concessions undertaking!  From burgers and pretzel bites and subs and deep fried cheese curds to candy, soda, slushies and more…there was something for everyone.  I was in charge of helping out and organizing in the concessions stand, but it really got me wondering about the math involved!

After all, how were these prices chosen?  Did the group get organized and really check out profits from the past to know what to charge?  For example…
This pack of popcorn makes about 5 small bags of popcorn… 
…we charge $1.00 per bag (up from 50 cents last year!)

So…I wonder how much each case of those preportioned popcorn batches costs?  What profit are we making from each?  I want to know!  The same thing goes for all our other offerings…are we getting the best deal when we buy the products?  Have we put enough thought into our pricing?

I saw this hanging on the wall…I can’t help but wonder who is doing all the math for us?
I know you want one of these….we only charge a dollar!  

As I watched the money flowing into the till, I knew that we weren’t doing EVERYTHING wrong, but I bet a more careful study of the books might help us increase profits even more–or even help us decide if certain products should be discontinued.  But please…shhhhhhhh…don’t tell anyone involved that I am curious.  I don’t have time to be on another committee!!

Make sure you check out the other Math Is Real Life link ups below!  Think about joining us in August!