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Ripken urges kids to play online math game

BALTIMORE — Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken has launched a new initiative that’s meant to help students improve their math skills.

The former Oriole is asking students in grades kindergarten through 12 in every state to play the online and board game TiViTz. The game incorporates math problems onto a video baseball field.

Fifty students across the country will be invited to compete in the national TiViTz championships, and five grand-prize winners will get to accompany Ripken to the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Ripken says the program stresses that even baseball requires math skills — including calculating distances and averages and using the Pythagorean theorem.