SBS Sports Tickets

About SBS

Oakland Baseball Simworld

XFL Simworld

SBS Book Store

About Sims

Sign up for Sims

SBS Working Papers

SBS Press Center

SBS Public Library

SBS in the Classroom


Contact Us


Login for Sims:

Oakland Baseball Simworld
Website Lesson Section
Students's Area

Developed by Sports Business Simulations

For questions, contact

Login to use the Oakland Baseball Simworld. Click here.

Introduction | Task | Process | Approach | Evaluation | Conclusion

Introduction - A Real World Class Sim For You, The Student

In the Oakland Baseball Simworld you get to play a role coveted by many: President of the Oakland Athletics in this role you are responsible for decisions leading to ticket prices, expenditures for player payroll, manager hiring and firing, and new stadium design and financing, to name some of the main decision areas. There are nearly 100 decisions that you can make over a 15-year period. The objective is to cause increases in franchise value while not causing the organization to lose money, and to field a competitive team annually. Please review the SBS Oakland Baseball Simworld page to read about the orgin of the simulation (click here)

SBS's primary charge is the development and presentation of online simulations of sports teams and leagues for use in the college classroom. SBS's products are not designed to replace textbooks or, for that matter, the "in-class" experience. SBS's products, all of which are available with one SBS World membership, are employed to enhance the classroom experience. While this section presents a particular way to use the sim in your class, it also presents other ways that professors have used it in their courses.

The SBS World is online, and is accessible via any Internet-ready computer, anywhere in the world. You can become part of the SBS World right from the computer you're using right now. All it takes is a $12.50 membership fee. As SBS is designed for the classroom, the rate goes down with the number of students in a membership group. Once a part of the SBS World, there are various ways to use SBS to enhance the classroom experience

The big question that this simulation answers is: Can you learn to think systemically and dynamically, such that you can understand baseball business dynamics?

The Task

The end result of your operation of the sim over time will be an understanding of baseball business dynamics. In other words, when someone says "Oh the Houston Astros increased spending on player development, so they will go to the World Series this year" you will know enough to explain why that would not be the case. You will also know the different kinds of business models that can actually work to build a winning, money-making organization. Finallly, should you be fortunately enough to land a position with a baseball organization, you will better understand the logic behind macro-level managerial positions, placing you at an educational level such that you can run the organization at some point in your career. The instructor should emphasize dynamic relationships between information you use in the sim, decisions you make, and their outcomes, then how you should change your strategy:

You should have some very basic understanding of using computers and web-based applications. You should also have access to a computer with Internet access. Beyond those basics, what ultimately separates the best players of the simulation from the worst, is a desire to try different rounds of simulation play, with reading about the results and review of the sims classroom section after each run.

The "measurable objective" is your score at the end of the 15-year sim run. The scoring system is as follows:

  • Below 100 points: Intern ranking - poor score
  • Between 100 and 150 points: Vice President ranking - good score
  • Between 150 and 175 points: Senior Vice President ranking - great score
  • Between 175 and 200 points: Executive Vice President ranking - super score
  • Over 200 points: President ranking - awesome score

Curriculum Standards

What should occur over time is the evolution of a basic understanding of baseball business dynamics, and more specifically, the relationship between managerial decisions and organizational outcomes. While baseball and the macro business practices of the Oakland Athletics are the foundation of the simulation, what is learned has applications in many aspects of business.

The test that accompanies a simulation account you open for your class is written to determine the how well the student has evolved in understanding of baseball business dynamics.

The simple meaning of "dynamics" for this presentation is 1. information, 2. analysis, 3. decision, 4. result, 5. information.

The more complex meaning of "dynamics" is related to specific business actions and activities unique to baseball and how managerial decisions impact their common (or uncommon) behavior over time. For example, increasing expenditures for player development essentially means expanding a team's "farm system," the set of minor league teams and player scouts and facilities required to discover and then nuture future baseball stars. But increasing spending for that doens't impact a team's won/loss record in the same year, it generally takes two years from expenditure to impact.

The Process

The basic class process is described here. But your teacher may vary from this, so consult your instructor's material if you're assigned a more specialized class program.

If the instructor wants you to use the SBS website as your quide, then the process is as follows:

  • Play the sim to familarize yourself with it, don't worry about the score
  • Purchase and read the material referred to in the "resources" section below
  • Go to class and take lecture notes on baseball business dynamics.
  • Play the sim, only this time it should be to post a serious score. Work with other students and trade notes. The sim can be used by teams of students. Your professor can review your runs, even if you don't post the score, so act with care.
  • Study for the final test on baseball business dynamics, which is based on the sim.
  • Take the test.

Variations: Different Approaches by the Teacher

Here are other ways the SBS World can be used in the teacher's classroom:

1. Students can engage in a business competition. In this, students work in groups, each developing a strategy to use in the simulator and in isolation from the other group. The students can run as many trials as they want to, but the rounds of simulation runs are only to test their strategies, not for the competition. Then, two lab competitions are held with the professor's in-person supervision. Here, the highest score counts. The professor takes the average of the group's scores and the group with the highest average score wins; the student groups can't alter their strategy from one round to the next round.

2. In an effort to understand how different stadium financing strategies impact a baseball organization, the professor has students try each financing approach, then write a paper on their effects on the baseball organization. Representatives of local sports organizations are invited to class to provide a "real world" perspective beyond the simulator.

3. An economics professor wants her students to understand that the real world of product price and demand is much more complex than what's presented in the typical textbook. So, rather than throw her students into the world of complex system equations, she has them run simulations in the SBS World, changing ticket prices and recording their effects on the organization's revenue, with respect to real world variables like a terrible team or a championship ballclub.

4. A labor economics professor wants students to understand how employee negotiations impact the "bottom line" of a business. The students use the Oakland Baseball Simworld within the SBS World, and quickly learn that one can't just pick a salary for a baseball player, and that at a certain point the player has more control over salary than the organization.

5. A high school teacher wants her students to understand how important TV ratings are to the success of a sports league, so she holds a class competition using the XFL Simworld.

There are more examples that are variations on the five above. But from this, it's clear that the SBS World can make the classroom experience more fun for teacher and student alike.

SBS is also available to create specialized simulations for your classroom needs. Please contact SBS with any curriculum assistance or simulation development needs.


Resources Needed

Computer Resources - First you need to have access to a computer with an internet connection of some kind. If you're reading this, it's a fair bet you do, so that's a good start. If you don't, make sure your college or university has computers connected to the Internet. Beyond that, the computer should have ideally the latest browser available, like Internet Explorer 5.2 or Apple Safari or the Opera Browser. The oldest browser you can use is Netscape 4.7. But if you can convince your college or university's computer managers to upgrade to the latest browers, it will make your experience better.

Also make sure that there is sufficient memory available in the computer. At least 128 M of RAM is best at the least.