# Central Tendency and Sports Statistics Similarities

In baseball, the term "batting average" is used as one way to measure a player's offensive performance. If we were to consider the idea of batting average in a statistical sense, would it be best described as a mean, median or modal measure of central tendency?

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## SOLUTION This solution is **FREE** courtesy of BrainMass!

To understand which measure of central tendency is most similar to a batting average, we must first understand how a batting average is calculated.

In simple terms, a batting average describes how often a baseball player gets a hit in relation to how many times they have an at-bat. Note that a hit does not refer to simply making contact with the ball (i.e. hitting the ball), but actually means that the hitter will make contact with the ball and arrive safely at one of the bases. It should also be noted that there are circumstances for which a hitter can reach a base safely without being credited with a hit, such as a fielder's choice or reaching base on an error. We will not consider these events for the sake of simplicity.

Here is an example of how batting average is calculated.

Joe has had 38 plate appearances so far this season. He has earned a total of 12 hits. What is his batting average?

Batting average = total number of hits/total number of plate appearances

= 12/38

= .316

Therefore Joe's batting average at this point in the season is .316. It would be common for baseball statisticians to verbally report this number as "batting three-sixteen".

Let's consider the three measures of central tendency that are most often considered in entry level statistics. They are the mean, median and mode.

The mean is the sum of all values in a data set divided by the number of items in that data set.

The median is the middle number when all pieces of a data set are arranged in ascending numerical order.

The mode is the most commonly occurring number in a data set.

Now that we have seen how batting average is calculated, it is apparent that the mean is the measure of central tendency most similar to the batting average statistic.

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