All of us have to learn how to invent our lives, make them up, imagine them. We need to be taught these skills; we need guides to show us how. If we don't, our lives get made up for us by other people.

Ursla Le Guin (1929-2018)

The Wave in the Mind, 2004


Choice Card: Anaconda
Taking turns, language target various
children and up
2-6 minutes per half
Class Size:
small (but see variation 5 below)
Energy Level:
Noncompetitive game
Board, dice, cards etc (whistle optional)

This board game is an extension of the football version of Co-operative Quiz. It can be used with various tasks. One simple task is identifying flashcards. Accordingly, a set of flags for the 2018 World Cup is provided below. It is possible to use the game competitively by dividing the players into opposing teams but this is not necessary and I think best avoided. The description below assumes all the players are on the same team.

Before the game can be played the board and playing cards must be downloaded, printed out and prepared. There are eight cards for the red team and eight cards for the blue team. You'll need something around 20mm diameter to represent the ball - a one yen coin will do.


  1. The Players decide on the name of their team team and whether they will play in blue or in red.
  2. Separate the game cards by colour, shuffle them and deal four of each colour to either end of the board. The red cards go behind the green goalkeeper and hate blue cards behind the yellow goalkeeper ( i.e. the cards are placed at the goal being attacked). The cards should be dealt face down.
  3. Decide on a duration for each half and set a timer accordingly.
  4. Place the ball on the centre spot for kick-off.

Method of Play

  1. One player is selected to go first and given a flashcard to identify If the player is uncertain of the correct answer the player may pass the task to any other player.
  2. A player who correctly identifies the correct answer rolls a six sided dice and moves the ball forwards towards the target goal. Count each swath of grass as one space.
  3. If all the players pass the referee tells the players the correct answer and the card is put to the bottom of the stack. Players may keep passing in this way but after the third complete pass the dice is rolled and the ball is moved towards their own goal.
  4. If a player names a flashcard incorrectly the dice is rolled and the ball is moved backwards to the team's own goal. The correct answer is not revealed.
  5. If any player blurts out an answer when it is not his/her turn that is considered a foul and treated as a wrong answer. The dice is rolled and the ball moved backwards.
  6. If the ball lands in a swath containing an unmarked player the dice is thrown again and the ball moved accordingly. Sometimes the dice might get thrown two or three times for one move.
  7. Whenever the dice score is high enough to carry the ball over the goal line a player is chosen to turn over a card behind the goal. There are five possible results:
    • Goal: The ball is moved back to the centre line.
    • Penalty: The ball is placed on the penalty spot. One player takes the penalty (or acts as goalkeeper). The player chooses four scoring numbers and two saving numbers and then rolls the dice. For example the player chooses 2, 3, 5 and 6 as scoring numbers and then rolls a 4. The penalty has been saved! Saved penalties are followed by a goal kick.
    • Corner: The ball is placed at a corner flag. This works in the same way as a penalty except that the player chooses two scoring numbers and four saving numbers. Corners that don't score are followed by a goal kick.
    • Save or Miss. These are both followed by a goal kick.
    • Goal Kick: the dice is thrown and the ball moved away from the goal. As with normal play unmarked players cause the dice to be rolled again.
    The chosen card is discarded and a new one put in its place.
  8. At half time rotate the board 180 degrees collect all the game cards sort and shuffle them and deal out four cards a fresh. The referee should also shuffle all the flashcards.
  9. Start the second half by rolling the dice against the players. As usual unmarked players cause the dice to be rolled again.


  1. Before rolling the dice players must choose a tackle number. If the tackle number is thrown the ball is not moved (count the dice score as 0).
  2. After each goal or goal kick shuffle all the flashcards. This is especially good to do when using introducing new vocabulary.
  3. To roll the dice a player must use the word on the flashcard in a sentence.
  4. Rather than using flashcards create another task, for example answering or asking a question.
  5. For large classes draw a copy of the gameboard on the whiteboard. Make large copies of the game cards and fix them to the board using magnets or tape. Limit the number of flashcard passes to four (i.e. if the fourth player passes say the answer. This counts as a complete pass. After three complete passes roll the dice against the players. If possible use a large dice, or have a cup to drop a small dice into.

Note: The World Cup Flags print 8 to a page. Two versions of the names are given, one in black and one with coloured letters to aid pronunciation. There is also a page giving the option to print a separate back. Various combinations of cards can be printed and used with other games.