Hockey Jersey Number Multiplication Table

Sports as a math memory aid

My son is a big sports fan and has a very good mem­o­ry for sports. How­ev­er, like many chil­dren, he is not as mind­ful of num­ber facts. 

Speak­ing to him about this, we real­ized there are some num­bers he knows very well: Ath­letes’ jer­sey num­bers: espe­cial­ly hock­ey play­ers’ numbers.

The num­ber 99 belongs to one man: Wayne Gret­zky. It is also the prod­uct of 9×11.

And so, for sporty kids, we devel­oped a down­load­able mul­ti­pli­ca­tion table using the jer­sey num­bers of hock­ey play­ers. We’re going to offer it free on the Askey Stu­dio site for now.

The Design Process

This one took quite a bit of research. Some jer­sey num­bers we had in mind ahead of time: Luon­go #1, Sit­tler #27, and of course Gret­zky #99. We also con­sult­ed NHL Hock­ey By The Num­bers by Michael Egenolf, for some of the less obvi­ous ones. We had debates when there was more than one play­er hav­ing a par­tic­u­lar number.

The jer­sey illus­tra­tions them­selves are styl­ized repli­cas with the team colours the play­er was known for. Although, this again caused some dis­cus­sions. Should we have 99 on the Kings or the Oil­ers? (Answer: Oilers.) 

For the colours them­selves, we found an excel­lent resource: Team Col­or Codes. The Team Col­or Codes team seems pret­ty thor­ough in how they com­pile the colour infor­ma­tion. We went with the Pan­tone Match­ing Sys­tem for accuracy.

The Effect

We hope teach­ers and par­ents will find this help­ful for young sports fans. 

Asso­ci­at­ing play­ers with math facts may pro­duce that pos­i­tive atti­tude kids need. “Orr times Coffie equals Giroux” may be a first step for young math stu­dents to get to “4×7 = 28.”

Thanks to Cade Askey for his ideas and research on this project. Per­haps we’ll try anoth­er one with a dif­fer­ent sport in the future.