Basketball pitch (Daniel Levitin )

Subject: Basketball pitch
From:    Daniel Levitin  <levitin(at)DARKWING.UOREGON.EDU>
Date:    Mon, 7 Aug 1995 11:35:02 -0700

Charles Watson asked why the crowds would converge on such specific pitches. According to Doug Hintzman's argument, this follows from the statistics of large samples. With a very large "n" (such as at a basketball game) you would expect there to be very little variance around the mean. That's why it converges on "D" as opposed to some wide range that might cover C#-D-D#. And it's no more surprising that the converging pitch would be the same at different basketball games than to find a converging height for spectators at different games, given a large "n."

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Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University