Mathematics in Sport - June 2011, All Stages

This month's resources have been inspired by sport (and the 2012 Olympics) and offer a chance to use mathematics to analyse and explain sporting situations.

Problems

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Jumping Squares

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

In this problem it is not the squares that jump, you do the jumping! The idea is to go round the track in as few jumps as possible.

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Half Time

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What could the half time scores have been in these Olympic hockey matches?

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Sports Equipment

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If these balls are put on a line with each ball touching the one in front and the one behind, which arrangement makes the shortest line of balls?

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Jumping

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

After training hard, these two children have improved their results. Can you work out the length or height of their first jumps?

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Match the Matches

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Decide which charts and graphs represent the number of goals two football teams scored in fifteen matches.

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Factor Track

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Factor track is not a race but a game of skill. The idea is to go round the track in as few moves as possible, keeping to the rules.

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Who's the Winner?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

When two closely matched teams play each other, what is the most likely result?

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Olympic Records

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you deduce which Olympic athletics events are represented by the graphs?

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Who's the Best?

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Which countries have the most naturally athletic populations?

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Training Schedule

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The heptathlon is an athletics competition consisting of 7 events. Can you make sense of the scoring system in order to advise a heptathlete on the best way to reach her target?

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Track Design

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Where should runners start the 200m race so that they have all run the same distance by the finish?

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David and Goliath

Stage: 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Does weight confer an advantage to shot putters?

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Weekly Challenge 39: Symmetrically So

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Exploit the symmetry and turn this quartic into a quadratic.

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Light Weights

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

See how the weight of weights varies across the globe.

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Pole Vaulting

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Consider the mechanics of pole vaulting

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Weekly Challenge 40: Normal Intersection

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

In what ways can the pdfs of two normal distributions intersect?

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Weekly Challenge 38: Numbered Graph

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

A weekly challenge: these are shorter problems aimed at Post-16 students or enthusiastic younger students.

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Weekly Challenge 37: Magic Bag

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

A weekly challenge concerning combinatorical probability.