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of the
May - August 2004
Math Cats
Writing Contest:

The contest rules were:

Invent a new sport and tell us about it.  What are the rules?  What equipment is used?  It can be a team sport or an individual sport.  If it's a team sport, how many are on each team?  How do the teams win points?  When is the game over?  Are there other ways to use math in the sport?  If it's an individual sport, how is math used?

Be creative!  Include details!


First Place - "Water Splash" - by Keylee D. Mori-Ramos
Second Place - "Mathcatch" - by Carlene T.
Third Place - "Stick Soccer" - by Emily N.
Fourth Place - "Goalgolf" - by Anna W.

Other Finalists

We're helping a special friend of Math Cats, too!

* First Place:

Water Splash
by Keylee D. Mori-Ramos
age 11, grade 6, Schweinfurt Elementary School, Ms. Maka's class
Schweinfurt, Germany

Number of Players: 5, 7, 9

Where: in a pool

Objective: To retrieve your opposing team's object and bring it back to your base.

How to Play:

  1. First choose teams, with an equal amount of people and swimming skills on each side. There will be one person left. He will be the referee.
  2. Choose a base, making sure that it is some distance from the other team's base.
  3. Choose an object, such as a small floating boat for younger children, or goggles that sink for more advanced swimmers.
  4. Place your object in your base.
  5. All players go to their base and stay there until the referee calls for the game to begin.
  6. Players must use teamwork to swim over to the opposing team's base and capture their object and swim back to their base, and at the same time, you must defend your own base. Your only weapon: your splashing hands and a water gun for the defender of the base.
How to Win: The winning team is the team that has captured the other team's object and has both objects and all their team members in their base.


* Second Place:

by Carlene T.
age 8, grade 3, Miles Franklin Primary School
Evatt, ACT, Australia

     What you do is you get a ball and bounce it. Then you throw it up in the air and catch it. Before you catch it, you need to pick up a card. On the card there is a math sum. You have to answer the sum before you catch the ball. The aim of the game is to answer the question and catch the ball in the fewest number of bounces possible.


* Third Place:

Stick Soccer
by Emily N.
age 8, grade 3, R.C. Buckley Elementary, Ms. Olver's class
Lansing, New York, U.S.

The point of the sport is to score as many points as you can in 30 minutes. Whoever does, wins the game.

The Equipment:

1 Beachball
1 Stick per person
2 Cardboard boxes for 2 goals

The Rules and the Scoring:

Divide the kids into 2 teams. Each team has 1 goalie. All the players, including the goalies, get a stick. The goalies use their sticks to defend their goals. The other players try to hit the beachball into the other team's goal. The field can be as large as you want and is usually in the shape of a square. The goals are on opposite sides of the square, just like in real soccer. This game can be played at the beach or in a backyard, or anywhere! __________

* Fourth Place:

by Anna W.
age 12, grade 6, Union 6th/7th Grade Center, Ms. Ceila James's class
Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.

     Goalgolf is based on basketball, but just like golf, points are not wanted.

     The point of this sport is to keep the other team from getting to their goal so they can get it in the basket.

     It is a team sport. Both teams have 8 players, and 20 points to begin with. The team with the least points after two 20 minute halves is the winner.

     The way the teams get rid of points is to get the ball - which is similar to a basketball with no lines - into the nets. The nets are 8 - 10 ft. off the ground, depending on the age group.

     There is a twist to this game, though. You can just throw the ball into the net and get rid of 1 point, or you can get bonus points by doing tricks such as jumping into the air, turning around, and dunking the ball. This would subtract 2 points from your total score, making it 18 points.

      The rules of this game are not that complicated:

  1. You have to dribble the ball.
  2. You can only touch the ball when taking it from the other player.
  3. When you do a trick to get bonus points taken off, you can use other players on YOUR team only. ie. You can ask your fellow player to give you a boost using his/her shoulders; that is allowed.
  4. The referee in this game will decide how many points each bonus trick is worth. Any disagreements with him/her may get your team disqualified.

* Other Finalists

The Balls
by Nolan A.
age 8, grade 3 - 4, Hopkins Summer School, Mr. Smolenski's class
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.

     My game is The Balls. You play the game by balancing a two inch ball on a glove while running 70 meters. The rules are: 1.if the ball falls off you're disqualified. have to stay within the lines. 3.No pushing or tripping or you're disqualified. 4.No talking to your opponents just your team mates. 5.The ball can't bounce on your head or your hands. 6.You can't hold the ball or else you're disqualified. Two teams made of two people play at one time. If you win three times you win the game. There are only three races in the game and you can't take more than two minutes on each race.

by Nolan A.
age 10, grade 5, Woodlands Primary School, Ms. Handsley's class
Wasall, Westmids, England

You have to use imagination and create your own basket ball. Then dribble round the course of rubber rings and only pick up the blue ones. It takes only two players and the scoring can be done by a mate. Write down both names. Each blue ring is worth 5 points. Take 2 points off when you pick up a red. Every time you lose the ball you lose 1 point. Pushing and shoving gets you disqualified. Do not push the blue rings further away from other player.


* Prizes

The first place prize is a Math Cats T-shirt. The first through fourth place winners receive a large Math Cats certificate, and the other finalist entries receive a smaller certificate.

* We're helping a special friend of Math Cats, too!

Wendy of Math Cats is making a donation to the IFOPA in honor of the top three winners and in honor of Jasmin Floyd, a young friend of Math Cats. You can learn about this worthy cause on the main contest page.

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