Tackling Football Math
Football players have big necks, huge arms, and fast-moving feet. They can also do the math! Whether your favorite player is a right tackle or a fullback, he's got to be able to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and figure out fractions. (How do you think the "quarterback" got his name?)
If you're going to be watching the Super Bowl this Sunday (and who isn't?), help your kids in grades 2-6 polish their math skills while you root for your team. Throw them some problems like the ones we have here. Print this sheet out so it's handy during the game. Your older kids can ask you some questions!
(Go long -- or scroll to the bottom of this page -- to find a link to the answers.)
1. Your team just gained 3 yards on its first attempt on a first down. (A down is equal to 10 yards.) How many more yards does it need for the first down?
2. The quarterback just completed a 15-yard pass from his team's 10-yard line. Where does the ref "spot" (place) the ball?
3. Your team has scored 1 touchdown, 1 extra point, and 2 field goals. The other team has scored 3 touchdowns and 3 extra points. What's the score?
4. If the kick-off return player catches the ball at his own 20-yard line and runs to his own 38-yard line before he gets tackled, how many yards has he run?
5. If each team is allowed 11 players on the field, what's the total number of players on the field during the game?
6. If your team starts at its own 20-yard line, how many first downs will it take for them to advance the length of the field and reach the end zone?
7. Your team is at the 50-yard line, and gets slapped with a 15-yard penalty. Where does the referee spot the ball?
8. Your team is at its own 20-yard line, and the entire field is 100 yards long. What percentage of the field have they covered?
9. If each touchdown and extra point kicked is worth a total of 7 points, how many touchdowns has your team scored if they have 21 points? 28? 35? (To make this easier, don't include field goals, which are worth 3 points.)
10. Each game is made up of four 15-minute quarters. If you don't count time-outs, halftime, and all those wild commercials, how long will the game last?
Click here for the answers!
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