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Subbing Soccer

author = Richard Malthus
level = Elementary
target_English = numbers, words
big_small = Small Groups

Split the class up into two teams and seat each team along opposite sides of the court, evenly spread from end to end. Have a goal at each end and a ball (preferably soft) placed in the middle spot. Number (or word) each team member with a different number (or word), but the same as the diagonally (or perpendicularly) opposite player on the opposing side.

When numbers are called, the corresponding players leap up and attempt to kick the ball into the oppositionfs goal. The players remaining seated may hit the ball with their hands, but may not move from the spot where they are seated.
Calling multiple numbers at a time can cause some wonderful mayhem.

This game can also be used for more complex listening comprehension: Give each team member a noun, verb, adjective, etc, or even a simple grammar structure. Read out sentences containing these, and as each player joins the game as they recognize their cue. This can take a little more preparation, as it is harder for the caller to ad lib each call, but a simple set of pre-written guideline sentences can suffice, as conjugations and tenses add natural variation.

Up and Down: If numbers of players already on the court are called again, players must return to their seats.

Goalies: One player from each team may stand at the side of their goal with a rolled up newspaper (or similar instrument) and attempt to defend the goalmouth.

Multiple Personalities: Each player is assigned two different identities, eg; a number (5) and a colour (blue). If either of these is called out they must join the game. This is great combined with the eUp and Downf variation, as you will temporarily end up with uneven teams at times, creating ePower Playf situations. Just remember to keep the calls coming fairly quickly so the substitutions roll.

It could also be a good idea to have a stack of cards with the numbers/words involved in each game with you as you make the calls. Shuffle them well, then go through them once before shuffling again. This is because it can be very hard to keep track of what numbers you have called often, and which you have neglected. This way every kid gets a fairly even amount of turns on the court.

Richard Malthus

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