The Football Game

There are over a billion football supporters scheduling their lives around football matches. After all, football is the most played and most watched sport on earth. So why not bring the beautiful game into the classroom?

Tekhnologic and ELT-Cation have worked together to show you how to ‘get the ball rolling’ and talk about football in the classroom.

We hope that this post will be equally useful for both teachers and learners of English.

For teachers: You can use football to turn a test into a game for your students, brush up on grammar or vocabulary, or set speaking assignments. 
For learners: Challenge your friends to play football and learn football-related idioms. Even if you do not follow football, you will find them quite useful for everyday life and business.

 Before the game

Prepare Question cards

The Football Game - Question Cards
Screenshot of the The Football Game Blank Cards

If you plan to pair up or split students into small teams and have them compete against each other, you will need to prepare some question cards.

If you want to make your own cards, you may find these blank Football Game Cards useful. Standard blank cards are available from here.

(You could vary the points for each questions. 1 point moves to the next line, 2 points moves two lines etc.)

The game is very versatile and you can use questions based on vocabulary, grammar, idioms, culture or a mixture of different questions. In fact, use any questions you can think of.

If you don’t have the time to make your own question cards, you could try this football themed card set.

Cards: Idioms – Student Set • Cards: Idioms – Teacher’s Set

(The teacher’s set has the answer highlighted)

Prepare the Board

The Football Game - Hand drawn
Photo provided by ELT-Cation

Draw an example football pitch on a piece of paper and ask the students to copy it. Use a coin, eraser or small object to be the ball.

The Football Game Photocopiable
Screenshot of the Football Game printable

Printable Version
Download The Football Game Photocopiable. Print off a master copy and photocopy as many times as you need for your class. Students can keep track of the score by coloring in the circles at the top of the paper each time they score a goal.

The Football Game Screenshot
Screenshot of the Football PowerPoint Game

PowerPoint Version
Download The Football Game. Open the PowerPoint on your computer, tablet or smartphone (as long as you have the appropriate app).


How to play: Click on the grass strips to move the ball. When you click on the grass strip nearest to a goal, the ball resets. Click on the team button to add points to the scoreboard

Watch this demo video to see how the game is played.

The demo video is 1:12 minutes long. 

Playing the game

How to play the game

Divide the students into pairs (Student A / Student B), multiple small teams, or two teams.

Place a ‘ball’ (could be coin, eraser or small object to be the ball) in the center circle (the middle of the football pitch).

Students are asked different questions. To approach the goal posts and score a goal, students should answer them correctly.

If Student A answers the question correctly, he/she moves right one step closer to his/her goalIf Student A answers the question incorrectly, he/she moves the ball left back to the center (one step closer to the goal of the opponent).

After a goal is scored, the ball is moved back to the center. The student with the most goals wins.

Are you ready to talk about football?

Here are the cards with football-related idioms.

Cards: Idioms – Student Set • Cards: Idioms – Teacher’s Set

(The teacher’s set has the answer highlighted)

Example Card Set
Idiom Cards – Set 2 – The Student’s Set by ELT-CATION

Cut the cards out to play the game.

While playing the game, try to define the idioms (get your students to define) and think what they actually mean in football.

After the game

Have a post-match review. Ask the students to think about which phrases or questions were difficult. They could then discuss the meanings and think of similar expressions in your (your students’) language. This builds up associations with the new language.

As an optional extension activity, ask the students to prepare a role-play that uses two or three of the new expressions that they have learnt. Brainstorm the situation, the characters and the phrases to use. This is a great way to check for accuracy because as you monitor the students while they preparing, you will be able to pick up on any mistakes that are being made.

List compiled from – Visit for more football related language and idioms.

Check out this site for more football related language and phrases.

You can learn more about football, listen to interviews with different players, find interactive exercises to improve your comprehension, grammar and vocabulary on Premier Skills English website of the British Council.

Leave a comment and let us know what you think about the Football Game.

Alternatively you can send us a message on our Facebook page or on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and take care!

Featured Image made using a photo taken from by @eltpics (Roseli Serra), used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license.

Many thanks to Svetlana Kandybovich from ELT-CATION for the original idea, for writing this guest post and for preparing the idiom card sets.

Tekhnologic produced the templates, demo video, screenshots and wrote the parts of the post that refer to those materials. 

The final edit of the post was a result of the collaboration between tekhnologic & ELT-CATION.

13 thoughts on “The Football Game

  1. Reblogged this on ELT-CATION and commented:
    Ole, ole, ole! It’s time for football! Tekhnologic and I have worked together to help you ‘get the ball rolling’ in the classroom. Whether you’re a football fan or not, we hope you will enjoy this game.

    We hope that this post will be equally useful for both teachers and learners of English.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post!
    I learned this game during my first year as a teacher, 30 years ago! I played it both on the whiteboard (it was a blackboard, and then a greenboard before it became white) and as a board game, which I drew on construction paper. It works beautifully as American football as well. With a diamond shape.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I believe this is among the such a lot significant information for me.
    And i’m happy studying your article. However should statement on some general issues, The
    website style is perfect, the articles is really nice :
    D. Good task, cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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