The World Cup 2018 maths challenge
Time for some Messi maths!
We're all World Cup mad at the minute so why not put your maths skills to the test with some fun footie puzzles?
The World Cup started in 1930 and is held every four years when 32 countries battle it out to be the best footballing nation.
These maths puzzles cater for 5 to 11-year-olds. Skip straight down to the puzzle for your age group or first brush up on your World Cup knowledge with some background info on the tournament itself.
And for a little extra motivation to try out the quizzes, we've a special prize give away - read to the end for details!
32 countries are separated into eight groups of four teams, each with 11 players.
Each team will play each other once in the group.
The top two teams from each group then go through to the “last 16” round which is a knockout round - this means the winner goes through to the next stage and the loser is out of the tournament.
In the knockout stages (last 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final) a match will last 90 minutes long unless it is a draw at the end of the match - then extra time of 30 minutes will be played. If the match is still a draw then penalty kicks will be taken to determine the winner.
If you want to keep a closer eye on the tournament you can fill in all the teams’ progress on this printable wall chart (pdf).
The Group Stages: (for ages 5-7)
- During one match with no substitutes, how many football boots will there be on the pitch at once? (Don't forget the ref!)
- How many teams qualify for the knockout stages?
- If Mohammed Salah plays all three group matches for Egypt and one knockout game which goes to extra time - how many minutes will he have played?
- If England get knocked out at the semi-final stage, how many matches will they have played?
- Look closely at this football pitch. How many rectangles do you see?
- International teams are ranked based on their recent performance so we can tell how good they are. The team with the 1st place or top ranking is supposed to be the best. Put these teams in order from the highest ranking starting with the 1st place team Germany: Print out here.pdf
|Country and ranking||In order of ranking|
|Panama = 55th|
|Egypt = 46th|
|Germany = 1st|
|England = 13th|
|Russia = 66th|
|Iceland = 22nd|
|Australia = 40th|
|France = 7th|
|Senegal = 28th|
|Argentina = 5th|
- During one match with no substitutes, how many football boots will there be on the pitch at once? 46 (22 players x 2 (each player has two feet!) = 44 + the referee’s two boots = 46)
- How many teams qualify for the knockout stages? 16
- If Mohammed Salah plays all three group matches for Egypt and one knockout game which goes to extra time - how many minutes will he have played? 390 minutes (90 x 3 = 270 + 120 = 390)
- If England get knocked out at the semi-final stage, how many matches will they have played? Six (three group matches, a last 16, a quarter-final and a semi-final match.)
- Look closely at this football pitch. How many rectangles do you see? Seven
- Put these teams in order from the highest ranked to the lowest (1 is the highest ranked team.)
|Country and ranking||In order of ranking|
|Panama = 55th||Germany|
|Egypt = 46th||Argentina|
|Germany = 1st||France|
|England = 13th||England|
|Russia = 66th||Iceland|
|Iceland = 22nd||Senegal|
|Australia = 40th||Australia|
|France = 7th||Egypt|
|Senegal = 28th||Panama|
|Argentina = 5th||Russia|
Knockout stages: (Age 7-8)
Look at this printable map (pdf) of the World Cup stadia and use the information to answer the following questions:
- Which stadium holds the most spectators?
- Which stadium holds the fewest spectators?
- How many matches will be played in total during the World Cup?
- Which stadium holds the most spectators? Moscow (80,000)
- Which stadium holds the fewest spectators? Kaliningrad (35,000)
- How many matches will be played in total during the World Cup? 64 (look at each stadium and how many matches are played in each one)
The Final: (Age 9-11)
Below is a table of ticket prices for different matches during the World Cup:
|Competition stage||Category 1||Category 2||Category 3||Category 4|
|Opening Ceremony match||£550||£390||£220||£50|
|Round of 16||£245||£185||£115||£35|
|3rd/4th place match||£365||£255||£175||£60|
- Mike wants to go to a group match. What is the difference between the most expensive and least expensive ticket?
- Donna spent £140 on two tickets - which stage of the competition were they for?
- If you went to all four quarter-final games with a category 2 ticket, how much would you pay?
- A family of five have category 3 tickets to a group stage match. How much will they pay altogether?
Extra tricky question:
- Two ticket outlets are offering deals on ticket bundles -
|Messi Madness||The Russian Ronaldo |
1 x group game, 1 x quarter-final, 1 semi-final and the final (all category 1)
1 x group game (category 2), 1 x quarter-final (category 2), 1 x semi-final (category 2) and the final (category 1)
Which is the better option and how much money will you save?
- Mike wants to go to a group match. What is the difference between the most expensive and least expensive ticket? Most = £210 Least = £20 Difference = 210 - 20 = £190
- Donna spent £140 on two tickets - which stage of the competition were they for? The Semi Final (Category 4 tickets = £70 each)
- If you went to all four quarter final games with a category 2 ticket, how much would you pay? £1020 (255 x 4 = 1020)
- A family of five have category 3 tickets to a group stage match. How much will they pay altogether? Group stage match = £105 x 5 = £525
- Two ticket outlets are offering deals on ticket bundles - Which is the better option and how much money will you save?
1 x group game = £210
1 x quarter-final = £365
1 semi-final = £750
final = £1100
Total: £210 + £365 + £750 + £1100 = £2425
¼ of £2425, 2425 ÷ 4 = 606.25
£2425 - 606.25.25 = £1818.75
The Russian Ronaldo:
1 x group game (cat 2) = £165
1 x quarter-final (cat 2) = £255
1 semi-final (cat 2) = £480
Final (cat 1) = £1100
Total: £165 + £255 + £480 + £1100 = £2000
20% of 2000 = 2000 ÷ 5 = 400
£2000 - £400 = £1600
£1818.75 - £1600 = £218.75
The better option is The Russian Ronaldo by £218.75
Win Win Win!
Do some World Cup-themed maths puzzling and win your very own copy of the goal-tastic children's football book, "World At Your Feet!"
Our super-talented friends over at World At Your Feet have kindly set aside some copies of their new book to reward a little football-themed family maths during the World Cup.
And as we're all about rewarding effort, you just need to prove that you and your little learners have given it a go. Post a picture of you working on the challenge, or of your workings out in the comments of the pinned post on Facebook, on Twitter with our tag @hellokomodo, or Instagram with the tag @komodomaths
We'll be drawing the winners on the 16th July, so the competition closes on the 15th July, World Cup Final Day.
Hi, I'm Natalia. I'm one of the maths teachers on the Komodo team, and I'm also a football player with my local amateur team!
Komodo is a fun and effective way to boost primary maths skills. Designed for 5 to 11-year-olds to use in the home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning maths (15 minutes, three to five times per week) that fits into the busy family routine. Komodo helps users develop fluency and confidence in maths – without keeping them at the screen for long.