The World Cup unsurprisingly is the biggest sporting event in the world. The 2018 edition of the World Cup was viewed by 3.2 billion people. Which if you aren’t sure is an absolute crap ton of people. Nearly half of the Earth’s population. Assuming you are one of those 3.2 billion, you will probably be looking for some world cup ideas. Well we are here for you.
Brief Explanation of the World Cup
If you don’t already know, the World Cup is a worldwide football (soccer) tournament that is governed by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), aka the worldwide governing body for the sport. Currently it features 32 sides (teams), and will soon feature 48 (starting in 2026). A certain number of teams (sides) from each continent can qualify through their continent’s qualifying competition (basically, another tournament of sorts for each). The competition happens every 4 years, and a host nation is chosen by a committee some 8 or so years before the tournament. The host nation automatically qualifies for the tournament.
Still with me so far? Ok good, let’s keep going. The tournament proper takes place over 2 main stages: the group stage and the knockout stage.
Let’s focus on the 32 team iteration as an example:
The group stage has 8 groups of 4 nations who play a single round robin format (they each play each other once). A Win awards 3 points, a Draw (tie) awards 1 point, and a Loss awards 0. (If they start awarding points for losses I’m out). The top 2 teams in each group advance (that means we go from 32 to 16 nations), to, you guessed it, the knockout round!
The knockout round is a more traditional tournament. Teams play a match, the winner moves on, and the losing team is eliminated. At the end the Final team standing is the World Cup Champion!
World Cup Ideas to Try
Watching the world cup is great, honestly one of my favorite sporting events. That being said it’s fun to spice things up. Whether that means degenerate gambling, playing a drinking game, or eating food from around the world (we tend to make a lot of excuses to eat food from around the world), we want to help to inspire you. Without further ado, these are what we are thinking for fun ways to make the Word Cup even more fun:
Some World Cup Ideas for Your Very Own Pool
To truly appreciate sports you need something on the line. This is why so many people like to bet on sports. It adds in an extra layer of excitement and competition for those games / matches where your team isn’t participating. Now, we at KindOfGoingPlaces are not big gamblers, but we do like to have a little something extra on the line. So we tend to set up some office pool type wagers for our sporting event watching, whether it’s NFL Sunday, March Madness or the World Cup. We will set up something and have a friendly household bet like who gets the favorite seat on the couch, who does dishes, who cooks or something. It’s super fun to have the bragging rights and it adds a little something to the event. Which as you can tell we love to do. So we put together a few ideas of ways to have a friendly pool amongst friends or roommates or whatever.
Draft Your Teams
Probably our favorite of the methods outlined here. Here you divide up the teams between however many participants via a “draft”. Each player selects teams one after another in whatever order you determine is fair and each player will receive points based on the performance of those teams. The basic strategy is 3 points for each win, 1 point for each draw and then you can optionally add in bonus points for goals scored. Our method is 1 point extra per goal scored, but I’ve seen it where only points are awarded for goal difference like if your team wins 2-1 you would get 1 bonus point for the positive difference of 1 goal. If this sounds like a good idea to you check out the Excel file below that we used:
Rank the Teams
In this method, each player would rank the teams 32-1, with the highest points given to the teams you think have the best chance of winning. Then you would get that number of points every time that teams wins. There are a million variations that could be done to this basic concept. Like only allowing a player to pick say 16 or 8 teams and get 0 points for teams not picked. You could also wait for the knockout stage to start to do the rankings. We typically use this method for the NFL playoffs. This method while very strategic also takes a little more effort to keep track of, so just keep that in mind.
Predictions probably only works if the participants are serious soccer heads. You would likely need a more intimate knowledge of the sport to make this work. Essentially, each person would predict the outcome of each group in the league, and get a point for each team they predicted their correct position on the group. For example if you pick England to come in first in their group and they win, you get an extra point. Then you would create a bracket for the knockout round fill out predicted winners, where everyone would gain a point for every correct pick. The points from both the group and knockout stage would be totaled and the winner would be the person with the most points. While this is a fun method one issue is that a winner can be determined very early mathematically which isn’t super fun for anyone (unless you won).
Snacking Around the World
It wouldn’t be a KindOfGoingPlaces post without snacks. We like food in case you didn’t notice. One thing we love to do when watching sporting events is to plan our snacks and meals around the locations participating. For example if England were playing the USA we would have meat pies and hot dogs. It’s a really fun way to spice things up and lets you flex your creative juices. Also a good excuse to eat food you wouldn’t normally eat (maybe?). Here are some ideas based on the football snacks from around the world (let us know if you have some more ideas or we got something wrong):
B-E-E-R spells beer
Sports and beer go hand in hand, imagine a baseball game without beer? No you can’t it’s impossible to watch baseball without beer. Football (soccer) is similar, grab a pint before the match, during the match (unless you are at the stadium because you can’t drink at your seat in most European soccer (football) stadiums). Now much like food, you want to make things interesting. So the idea is when watching a match is to drink local beer to the countries that are playing. Based on your location this can be challenging with availability (we had an awful time finding actual Australian Beer for some reason). Don’t stress though, do the best you can and be creative if you have to, maybe find beers that had names that remind you of the country or beer with a color scheme that matches. Remember this is all just for fun. To help we made a list of some beers and where they are from so you have a starting point:
World Famous Kind of Going Places World Cup Drinking Game (WFKOGPWCDG for short)
Drinking games always spice things up, grab some of the aforementioned beers and play along with our world famous game that totally wasn’t just made up right now….
Now that you have your World Cup ideas
We’ve done sporting events before like The Masters but nothing like the World Cup. The World Cup is a month long worldwide phenomenon that billions of people around the world are unbelievably passionate about. We hope that we have helped to provide you with some alternative ways to enjoy it and make it ever more fun!
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