# The Math used in Professional Basketball

Article Summary: Take out the sports section and go to the pages on basketball. Look at a game with a box score. A box score will list all the players on the team and the points they scored. The box score can be put into a list to calculate mean, mode, median, and range.

Basketball is a game that uses many different types of math. Basketball is played on a rectangular court and made up of two five player teams. Two guards, two forwards, and one center make up the five players on each team. All five players play offense as well as defense. In Professional Basketball a game lasts for 48 minutes which is broken up into four quarters. 48 divided by 4 = 12, therefore each quarter lasts 12 minutes. Which ever team has the most points at the end of the game is the winner. When a game is tied after regulation time has ended, the teams play overtime periods until one team ends an overtime period with more points and is therefore the winner. There are two ways an offensive team can score points. The first way to score is to make a basket, which is worth 2 or 3 points, depending on the distance of the shot. The second way to score is a foul shot, also called a free throw.

Every foul shot is taken from what is called the "free throw" line. The free throw line is 15 feet away from the basket which is also equal to 4.6 meters. The free throw is worth one point. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has teams from two countries, the United States and Canada. In total there are 30 NBA teams but they divided into two different conferences, the Eastern and Western. Each conference is made up of three different divisions. Although only five players are allowed from each team on the court at a time, there are 12 players on the roster at all times. There are 82 scheduled games in a regular season.

When the NBA season ends in April 8 teams from each conference will be qualified for the playoffs and since there are 2 conferences, 8 x 2 = 16. So, 16 teams would then qualify. These games are broken down into what is called "series" and each series is won by which ever team wins the most out of seven. This means that whichever team wins 4 games first are the champions of the conference. Finally a champion team from each conference meets to play 7 more games. Remember, there are two conferences, Eastern and Western. The first to win 4 games out of 7 are the NBA Champions.

Basketball can be used to show many types of mathematical procedures that include identifying geometric shapes, choosing the right display of data and to interpret that data, the ability to predict outcomes, the ability to construct tally charts, scatter plots, and bar graphs, and finally the ability to change fractions to percents. The fact is that math is all around you every day and people use math without even realizing that they are doing so. In basketball math is used to keep score, of course that is the most obvious. Math is used to count how many people are playing, how many feet up the hoop is, how many feet players can jump, the circumference of the hoop and the measurement of the ball, which by the way are all very important parts of the game of basketball.

Take out the sports section and go to the pages on basketball. Look at a game with a box score. A box score will list all the players on the team and the points they scored. The box score can be put into a list to calculate mean, mode, median, and range. So as you can see there are various types of mathematical calculations that are used in the game of basketball and most of them are just second nature for most. Maybe that is why they seem so simple when applied to basketball, because you never thought of it in terms of math.