# Can someone explain what on earth a 'batting average' is?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by TheoGB, Feb 4, 2002.

1. ### TheoGB Screenwriter

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Just reading Danny Sugarman's autobiography "Wonderland Avenue" (which rocks by the way) and he refers to himself having a .325 batting average.
So what's it mean? 32.5% of what on average? And is that good? What's really good? What's really bad?
Come to that, what's the idea behind a sports scholarship? It seems to be about getting someone into University who's not a good student or am I missing something?
Cheers.

2. ### Kevin P Screenwriter

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Basically it's the ratio of "base hits" to "at bats".

So, if you've been at bat 20 times and have gotten 5 base hits, your batting average would be 5/20 or .250.

KJP

3. ### Steve Owen Second Unit

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It's baseball... and yea, anything above .300 is generally good. Above 0.400 is outstanding and almost never heard of. Anything below 0.200 isn't so good. It's somewhat complicated how it's calculated (there's times when a "hit" isn't a hit such as when there's a defensive error and times when an "at bat" isn't an at bat such as a walk).

Basically, the formula is this...

# of hits / # of at bats.

I don't know the game of cricket, but perhaps there's some parallel...

-Steve

4. ### TheoGB Screenwriter

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The only parallel is being totally confused.
What's a 'base hit' - is that the same as a hit? What's an 'at bat'? Jeez. I thought this was gonna be easy to explain...
I just know nothing about the game. I mean it must rank way below any other U.S. sport as far as knowledge goes in Europe - we don't know a thing about it and it looks so straightforward. You'll have to put it in words of one syllable!

5. ### Kevin P Screenwriter

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A "base hit" is when you hit the ball and manage to get on base without being tagged out (or flying out, or winding up "out" in some other way). A "hit" is the same as a "base hit", I just said "base hit" to avoid confusion, since the word "hit" could mean that the ball was struck by the bat without the batter getting on base.
"At bat" just means the player's turn, uh, "at bat". The players on the team at bat rotate through a lineup to be "at bat", and the goal is to get a hit, get on base, and (hopefully) reach home plate to score. I won't try to explain all the rules of baseball here, since I don't know all of them, but I'm sure there are plenty of websites out there that would explain the game better than I could.

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7. ### TheoGB Screenwriter

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Cricket has very little to do with baseball, I'd say. Rounders, yes but cricket...

Well cheers. That makes some sense. A batting average is therefore a measure of both accuracy and the speed and guile of the person batting since they are showing they can also get to a base. Hmm, I guess that is a tough thing to achieve.

(That's why I edited Kevin - posting while faffing at work really does your head in! :b )

8. ### paul o'donnell Second Unit

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http://www2.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/b..._the_field.jsp
There you go Theo, the rules and objectives of the game courtesy of MLB.com. Also, when baseball season starts, check out Channel 5 over here, they sometimes run a beginners guide type thing.
I agree that baseball is the least known of the American sports over here, and that is a shame in a huge way. Its easily my favourite sport and I have lived over here all my life. Although the world series is partly responsible for wrecking my sleeping pattern 7 nights of getting to bed at 6am in less than two weeks is not good.

9. ### Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast Supporter

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10. ### TheoGB Screenwriter

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Well, leaving aside the actual conversion between GPA's and English systems, this does sound pretty weird. I assumed the idea of someone getting through on such a scholarship was that they get to do something, well, sports-related.

I guess it's reasons are buried in the mists of time...

11. ### Joel Mack Cinematographer

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Theo: They do. Students on athletic scholarships generally receive tuition, books, and sometimes room & board in exchange for using their athletic talents to help the school's team. They are also required to maintin a certain GPA to keep their scholarship (as well as perform to expectations on the field of play). Some schools require higher GPA's than the NCAA mandates.

Clinton: What, exactly, is wrong with a C or C+ average? I've worked for plenty of idiots that pulled straight A's.

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14. ### Trey Fletcher Second Unit

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In regards to scholarships, there are both academic scholarships and athletic scholarships. Here in the U.S., an atheltic scholarship is basically, "Since you're good at football, come play for our school and we'll waive your tuition." It's gotten much more complex lately, with the NCAA limiting the number of athletic scholarships that universities can award, and certain levels of academic performace required to maintain the scholarship.

15. ### MickeS Producer

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Theo, the first rule of american sports is: it's ALL ABOUT THE STATISTICS. Read any newspaper article about a game or a player, and it's like reading a freakin' math report. Nobody writes "he made a few good shots in the second half, and managed to save the team from losing". They write "He made 9 out of 17 shots, tying his personal record, and managing to be 2.8% above the team average for the second half". It is f**king ridiculous.

And colleges sports is, like others have pointed out, a major source if income for the universities here. It's totally different from Europe, where amateur teams aren't tied to learning institutions as much as here.

/Mike

16. ### Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast Supporter

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I was not attacking actual grades, but the system in place which lets people play sports for a college instead of using their time there to learn what they are majoring in.

Some colleges place athletics on a higher platform than academics. It's like a trumped-up high school. Where I went to school, the principal was also the athletic director and sat on the school board. The head of the board was a good friend of the principal's and was a huge football fan. Every year, when monies were allocated for the school's programs, athletics (particularly football) got a bigger cut than the rest. Every year the football team got new uniforms, new workout equipment, and the players were even given parking spaces close to the school building. I remember my senior year, funding for several academic programs was cut because the school board decided the football stadium needed a bigger concession stand and a new announcer's booth.

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18. ### MickeS Producer

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Jeff, , yes, sadly it's not too much of an exaggeration...
Don't get me wrong though, I love looking at statistics every once in a while. But I hate what sports writing and commentary has become; it is not about writing about the game anymore, it's about writing about the statistics. Seems like the commentators on TV are just really lazy sometimes though, instead of coming up with something interesting to say about a player, thay just look at their statistics on the screen and say "He has a 0.386 batting average". Well, duh, I could look that up myself.
/Mike

19. ### RicP Screenwriter

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Just to give Theo a little example of how wacky College sports are over here...
The Head Coach of some College Football teams are paid in excess of \$1 Million USD per year.
Now That's insane.

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