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Plus Advent Calendar Door #23: Sport for your stocking


Still have presents to buy? You'll need to be quick! To help you win the race to get those final gifts here are some mathematically sporty books by some of our favourite Plus authors!

In the brilliant Taking chances John Haigh gives a brilliant introduction to probability and its role in the lottery, quiz shows, games and all types of sport. Haigh has also written two excellent books with Rob Eastaway, How to take a penalty: The mathematical curiosities of sport and The hidden mathematics of sport.

If football in particular is the passion of your intended recipient, we recommend How to score: science and the beautiful game by Ken Bray. And for a mathematical book, filled with football inspired illustrations of mathematical ideas, there's The Num8ber My5teries by Marcus du Sautoy.

All our sport knowledge comes from our neighbour and boss, John D. Barrow, who often drops in to convey the latest mathematical news from the world of physical activity. One of our favourite stories was how he discovered a new rowing rig by analysing the maths of the ideal positioning of rowers. You can read 99 other fascinating facts in his book 100 Essential Things you didn't know you didn't know about sport.

And of course, you can read more about the mathematics of sport on Plus and the Sportal.

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