In pairs / groups, brainstorm a list of the most exciting sports in the world. Which ones are the best? What makes them the best? What improvements would you make to them? Are they played by most of the world’s countries? If not, why not?
Do you like sports that make you upset after watching? Does the possibility of upsets make the sport more exciting? Have you ever got angry because the winner wasn’t the one you liked?
SPORTING OPINIONS: Do you agree with these opinions on sport?
a. I always support the underdog.
b. Sport is being ruined by money.
c. Sports stars get paid too much.
d. Sport is not at all important.
e. Sport helps countries have better relations.
f. It’s not the winning that is important, it’s the taking part.
Read the articles about soccer:
Soccer - the world's most exciting sport
English soccer is more exciting than any of the top American team sports. This is according to the research of a team of American scientists. Eli Ben-Naim of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and his colleagues analyzed the results of over 300,000 games of soccer, baseball, hockey, basketball and American football played since 1888. They decided that the likelihood of an “upset” in a game was a good measure of its competitiveness and excitement. An upset is a game in which the underdog, or weaker team, beats the stronger team. They found English soccer matches produced more upsets.
The survey is not all bad news for enthusiasts of American sports. It seems that soccer has become less exciting and more predictable over the past fifty years. This suggests that strong teams are becoming stronger and the chance of an upset is lessening. On average, the underdog wins 45 percent of the time in soccer, but this figure is sliding. In contrast, the frequency of upsets in baseball is increasing. Baseball has overtaken soccer in the past ten years to become the more exciting sport. However, the survey did not analyze the worldwide fever produced by soccer’s World Cup Finals.