How Sports Teach Geography

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• Part 2: Basketball and Soccer

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Part 1: Baseball and Geography

You or certainly someone you know plays a sport. And if you're like most kids, you follow professional sports. And if you follow pro sports, then, whether you realize it or not, you are learning geography.

Here's how:

Let's say you're a baseball fan and that the San Francisco Giants are your favorite team. You want to follow your team and cheer them on. So where do they go to play their games? Half of the 162 baseball games in a season are played at a team's home field. The Giants play at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco. The other 81 games they play on the road, at other teams' home ballparks.

Who do the Giants play? They play lots of other teams. They play the Los Angeles Dodgers a lot. Now, San Francisco is in Northern California and Los Angeles is in Southern California; so when the Giants travel to play the Dodgers, you can trace their path on a map--from Northern California to Southern California.

The Giants play the Arizona Diamondbacks a lot, too. You can take the same map and trace a path from San Francisco to Phoenix, home of the Diamondbacks.

The Giants also play teams in other cities across the United States, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Atlanta, just to name a few. Each time the Giants travel to these teams' home city, you can trace their route. Before you know it, you know where these cities are and what states they're in. You're learning geography!

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