Benefits

  • Fantasy sports leads to a student-centered environment rather than a teacher-led classroom. This results in more teacher time to work one-on-one with students.
  • Fantasy sports provide students with the autonomy they need to help build their decision-making skills, thus contributing to their social and cognitive development.
  • Students can make trades, draft any players they wish, and decide on their starting lineups each week. This independence is something that adolescents crave, yet often don’t get much of. Students enjoy the feeling of power that comes with managing a team.
  • Fantasy sports can facilitate the transition into the abstract world of algebra. Once students understand how to compute points using a non-algebraic method, teachers have the option of introducing linear equations that include variables. The variables have meaning because the data is relevant to students’ lives.
  • Students are motivated to do math because they want to find out how their teams performed compared to their peers.
  • Fantasy sports are based on real-world data, and students can follow their players on television, in newspapers, or online. This allows them to make connections between math at school and math in the real world; research indicates that learning is facilitated when this occurs.
  • The inclusion of newspapers, graphing, and technology addresses all learning styles.
  • Families can play fantasy sports together, thus providing a bonding experience. (I’ll never forget a parent conference in which a father began to cry as he told me that his daughter elected to spend time with him for the first time in years, as he watched a 49ers game).
  • Fantasy sports helps to build school-wide community, as students, teachers, administrators, and support staff can play together.
  • Two components of fantasy sports (luck and the salary cap) level the playing field for boys and girls.
  • Often, students who have poor attitudes toward school suddenly become the leaders in math class as they share their sports knowledge with their peers.
  • Students are engaged because the games are fun.
  • The programs address nine NCTM Standards and over 50 NCTM Expectations. (Calif., New York, and Texas Standards linked to Fantasy Sports and Mathematics are also posted on this site).
  • The content can be customized according to the skill level of students.
  • Mastery learning is facilitated because students get multiple exposures to concepts.
  • There is little preparation time once the game begins.
  • The innovative curriculum helps to alter the negative perception many students have toward mathematics.
  • The games are flexible, allowing you to play anytime, for one week or a whole season.
  • The learning objectives and assessment are closely aligned, as practice worksheets and quizzes follow the same format.
  • Student workbooks complement research indicating that students take more ownership of the material and learning is facilitated when they are allowed to work in consumable books.
  • Empirical data: GEPA scores increased from 10% to 54% for eighth grade students in the Woodbine School District in New Jersey after one year of using Fantasy Sports and Mathematics. You can view a firsthand account by watching the ESPN "Outside the Lines" feature story in the Press & Media section of this website (click the tab at the top banner section of this page).