Match of the Day

About this game

This game is a variation on the 'Two-step Quiz' explained above, and is suitable for a class of students sharing an interest in a particular sporting competition. This could be English Premier League football (or any other football competition), American or Japanese baseball, international cricket or rugby, etc. The game is explained below using English Premier League football as the focus.


Any level except for absolute beginners.


1. Take one 'Word Up' question sheet from a level of difficulty suitable for your class.

2. Arrange two groups of two to four chairs facing each other across the front of the classroom, then draw a scoring table on the board, like this:

        Teams         1st half  2nd half  Final Score 

How it Works

1. Two teams of two to four members each are formed, with each team naming itself after an English Premier League football club (e.g. Manchester United). Ask for another student to act as 'referee' and give him or her the 'Word Up' question and answer set. The referee then writes each team's name on the scoring table. The rest of the students act as 'spectators'.

2. The game is played over two halves of either ten or fifteen minutes, plus a 'penalty shoot-out' if necessary. You should act as timekeeper.

3. Ask each spectator to write on a piece of paper the name of an English Premier League club or player they know quite a bit about. Then the referee asks for a spectator to come forward. The spectator stands between the two teams and states either 'club' or 'player'.

4. The referee tosses a coin to decide which team 'kicks off'. Then a member of this team begins play by asking the spectator a question about the club or player, such as 'Does David Beckham play for this club?', 'Did this club win the last F.A. Cup?' or 'Does he play for Liverpool?', etc. (The questions must require a 'Yes' or 'No' answer. If the spectator is not sure of the answer, the team may ask another question instead.)

5. After the spectator has answered either 'Yes' or 'No', the team which asked the question tries to guess the name of the club or player. If the team doesn't guess correctly, a member of the other team asks a question and then his or her team tries to guess the name of the club or player, and so on. (If neither team has guessed correctly after asking five questions each, the referee stops play and asks if any of the spectators can guess correctly. If none can, the referee states the club or player and then asks for another spectator to come forward and answer questions for the next 'passage of play', again tossing the coin to decide which team asks first.)

6. When a team does guess correctly, they have earned the right to 'shoot for goal' by answering a question from whichever 'Word Up' question category they choose. The referee then asks a question from this category. The team has one minute in which to 'huddle' and consider their answer. If the team answers correctly, they 'score a goal' and the referee records it on the scoring table. (Note that teams only score by correctly answering a 'Word Up' question, not by guessing the name of the club or player.)

7. The game continues with the referee asking for another spectator to come forward. If a team has just 'scored a goal', they ask the first question. If they have 'missed', the other team asks the first question. Play continues until time has run out for the first half. Then the second half begins with the team asking second in the first half now asking first.

8. If the teams are tied at the end of play, they have a 'penalty shoot-out'. The referee asks each team a different Word Up question, starting with 'Missing Word' questions. If both teams answer their question correctly, or both teams answer incorrectly, the referee asks each team another question, this time from 'Crossword Clues'. This continues through the question categories until one team answers correctly and the other team doesn't. The team answering correctly has won the game.

- The referee should ask the Word Up questions in the order in which they are written on the question sheet.
- If all the questions for a particular category have already been asked, the team chooses another category instead.
- If all the spectators have answered questions about a club or player before the game is over, ask each to write another club or player and then continue as before.

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