Fantasy Sports Can Improve Mathematics Test Scores

Fantasy sports can help improve mathematics test scores in schools, says a University of Mississippi researcher.

To reach the conclusion, Kim Beason, associate professor of park and recreation management at UM, teamed up with Dan Flockhart, a former California middle school teacher who has written a series of mathematics textbooks.

 The study showed that fantasy sports has increased math test scores, in areas ranging from algebraic formulas to fractions, by nearly 50 percent among middle school students.

 “This is huge,” Beason said. “Across the board, both boys’ and girls’ test scores are up dramatically.”

 “Sixty-nine percent of eighth-grade students in America are not proficient in math. I believe fantasy sports can play a significant role in eliminating math illiteracy in our country,” said Flockhart, who in 2005 authored Fantasy Sports and Mathematics, a series of math textbooks that addresses nine national math standards and more than 50 national math expectations.

 Algebra, perhaps the least liked subject of students due to its abstract nature, is the gateway to higher education, Flockhart said.

 “If ‘T’ equals the number of touchdowns, then students know what they are dealing with,” he said. “Fantasy sports links math in the classroom to math in the real world.”

 A fantasy sport (also known as rotisserie, roto, or owner simulation) is a game where participants act as owners to build a team that competes against other fantasy owners based on the statistics generated by the real individual players or teams of a professional sport.