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Combinatorics: tennis game with 8 people

  • #1
Math_QED
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Homework Statement



8 friends are playing a tennis game together. How many different doubles games of tennis can they play?

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The Attempt at a Solution



Well, I solved this problem by saying: we choose a group 4 people from 8 to play, so order is not important, this is C(8,4). If those 4 people are A,B,C,D, they can play together in 3 different ways: AB/CD; AC/BD; AD/BC, so the solution is: 3C(8,4) = 210.

I tried doing this in another way, but I suppose I am doublecounting something. This was my approach:

For one team, we choose 2 people out of 8. For the other team, we choose 2 people out of 6 (since 2 out of 8 players are already taken). So, the answer would be: C(8,2)*C(6,2). Now, I am pretty sure that I have doublecounted, but I don't know exactly what it is I have doublecounted.

It would be great of someone could help me!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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For one team, we choose 2 people out of 8. For the other team, we choose 2 people out of 6 (since 2 out of 8 players are already taken). So, the answer would be: C(8,2)*C(6,2). Now, I am pretty sure that I have doublecounted, but I don't know exactly what it is I have doublecounted.
You counted (AB play against CD) and (CD play against AB) as separate events.
 
  • #3
Ray Vickson
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Homework Statement



8 friends are playing a tennis game together. How many different doubles games of tennis can they play?

Homework Equations



Combinations

The Attempt at a Solution



Well, I solved this problem by saying: we choose a group 4 people from 8 to play, so order is not important, this is C(8,4). If those 4 people are A,B,C,D, they can play together in 3 different ways: AB/CD; AC/BD; AD/BC, so the solution is: 3C(8,4) = 210.

I tried doing this in another way, but I suppose I am doublecounting something. This was my approach:

For one team, we choose 2 people out of 8. For the other team, we choose 2 people out of 6 (since 2 out of 8 players are already taken). So, the answer would be: C(8,2)*C(6,2). Now, I am pretty sure that I have doublecounted, but I don't know exactly what it is I have doublecounted.

It would be great of someone could help me!
There are C(8,4) ways of choosing a group of 4 to play doubles; for each such group of 4 there are C(4,2) ways of forming two teams of two.
 
  • #4
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You counted (AB play against CD) and (CD play against AB) as separate events.
I still don't get it. Where exactly do I do this?
 
  • #5
PeroK
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There are C(8,4) ways of choosing a group of 4 to play doubles; for each such group of 4 there are C(4,2) ways of forming two teams of two.
Not quite. That double counts the ways of forming 2 teams of 2.
 
  • #6
PeroK
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I still don't get it. Where exactly do I do this?
C(8, 2) includes AB as a team; given AB is the first team, C(6, 2) includes CD as a team.

C(8,2) includes CD as a team; given CD is the first team,C(6,2) includes AB as a team.
 
  • #7
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C(8, 2) includes AB as a team; given AB is the first team, C(6, 2) includes CD as a team.

C(8,2) includes CD as a team; given CD is the first team,C(6,2) includes AB as a team.
Thanks a lot!
 
  • #8
Ray Vickson
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Not quite. That double counts the ways of forming 2 teams of 2.
If the group is ABCD we can choose one of the pairs to be AB or AC or AD or BC or BD or CD. Whenever we make such a choice, the remaining two form the other pair.
Not quite. That double counts the ways of forming 2 teams of 2.
Of course, I missed that. If the group is ABCD there are only three pairs that A can belong to, and he/she must belong to some pair.
 
  • #9
haruspex
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I agree that 38C4 is probably the intended answer, but it is not in accordance with the rules of doubles tennis. within each pair, there is the question of who serves first (throughout the match) and who receives in the right hand court (for the duration of a set).
 

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