Sports Trivia Game

Mikiko Sudo, Soka University

Quick Guide

  • Keywords: reading quickly, skimming, scanning
  • Leaner English level: Pre-intermediate and above
  • Leaner maturity: High school and above
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Activity time: 50-60 minutes depending on class size
  • Materials: Whiteboard, markers, pencils, blank cards, cards with sports names

Reading quickly is one of the most useful skills for English learners’ academic success. Although many practice materials are available, students occasionally get tired of ready-made passages and questions in these materials. It is therefore important to find novel ways to interest students, while also enhancing their speed reading skills. In the game I devised, students should quickly find interesting pieces of information with different degrees of helpfulness about a particular sport. These are then used as clues for the other players who try to guess the sport. By working as a team in a fun and competitive environment, students will actively read, scan, and communicate in class.


 Step 1: Make one copy of the worksheet (Appendix A) for each group.

 Step 2: Make one blank card for each group.   

 Step 3: Make one card with one sport name for each group.


Step 1: Divide the class into groups of four. Name them Group A, B, C, etc. 

Step 2: Give each group the worksheet, a card with the name of one sport, and a blank card.

Step 3: Using their smart phones, tell students to scan online encyclopedias (e.g., Fact Monster; Simple Wikipedia; Wikipedia) for five interesting facts about sport. They can basically copy the information on the worksheet, but they should number the facts from 5 (the most challenging; 5% of the class probably know it; values 5 points) to 1 (the most helpful, 80 % of the class probably know it; values 1 point). Explain rules one and two on the worksheet. Students complete Step 3 in 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Tell them they will later vote for the best group that presents interesting information in the most effective order. Each vote equals one point. In addition, groups also get points for correct answers. Once all the points are tallied, the group with the most points wins.

Step 4: Students complete Step 3 in 10-15 minutes.

Step 5: Draw a point chart on the board. Give 10 points as a starter.

Step 6: One student from Group A reads their sentences aloud.

Step 7: Ask players to raise their hands if they know the answers so that you can record their trivia points (5-1) on the board. Players write the name of the sport and their points on the blank card, put it face down, and refrain from touching it.

Step 8: When all trivia facts are read, each group shows their answer cards. If their answers are correct, they get the points corresponding to the trivia number. If their answers are incorrect, they lose the same amount of points. 

Step 9: Repeat the same procedure for all groups. 

Step 10: Ask students to write the name of the best group on the worksheets and collect them. Read the votes aloud and give each group their points. 

Step 11: Tally up the points and congratulate the winners. 


In a limited amount of time, students should find trivia facts and discuss their level of usefulness and appropriateness as hints. Such tasks will enhance students’ speed reading skills and cognitive skills. This game fills the classroom with laughter and excitement. It is easily adaptable to suit any topic with students of all levels. 


The appendix is available blow: