Celebrate the World Cup by breaking out the sports paraphernalia and throwing a soccer party (or “football” party, if you live outside the US). This theme is fun for the sporting types, and people who enjoy an excuse for a party. The black and white color scheme of a soccer ball, with the green of the soccer field, provides most of the theme decisions for you. There are many directions you can go to decorate and menu-plan for a soccer party. Here’s how to keep your party guests entertained, watered, and ready to watch the big games.
Soccer Party Background: World Cup
Every four years, the Federation International Football Association hosts a World Cup Tournament, which is the culmination of several years worth of qualifying matches and tournaments for various teams. In 2010, the FIFA World Cup will be held in South Africa. In 2014, the World Cup will be in Brazil.
32 football teams qualified for the 2010 World Cup, and matches will be played over one month, from June 11 through July 11th. (That leaves plenty of time for a party!)
Soccer Party Invitations
Invitations for your World Cup Football Party can be fairly simple: use a cutout of a soccer ball. Then, write the pertinent party information in the white pentagons on it. To help your guests feel more comfortable at the party, send a glossary of soccer terms, or have these available during the event!
- Backs – Defenders
- Forward – Plays to the front, and is responsible for scoring.
- Fullback – a rear defender.
- Goalkeeper – Guards the goal box. Only player that can use hands or arms.
Soccer Field Areas
- Center Circle – 10 yard radius circle in the center of the field. Where kickoffs happen.
- Corner Arc – at each of the 4 corners of the soccer field there is a quarter-circle with a radius of 1 yard. Corner kicks are made from this area.
- Goal Area – area in front of goal box from which kicks must be made.
- Penalty area – Area denoting where goal keeper can use hands and arms.
- Penalty Arc – The arc at the top of the penalty area. Purpose: Designates how far back all players must be away from the ball while a penalty kick is being taken.
World Cup Party Decorations
It’s easy to decorate for a soccer party. Here are some ideas for turning your front or back yard into a soccer field, and your house into a clubhouse.
- Soccer ball balloons, and black and white balloons
- Goal box – make one outside, and decorate one end of the table as a goal box
- Astroturf mats: you can find these at sporting goods stores. You could cover the table with one, as a tablecloth.
- Flags/pennants: either generic, or in colors that match the teams playing on the day of your party
- Turn the yard into a soccer field: download a picture of typical soccer field markings as a guide, and paint your front yard as a field. (Or use white flour instead, which will then blend into the soil.) Be sure to add a goal box!
Food for Soccer Parties
For the most part, any food will do. If you’re watching a World Cup Football game, you might want to serve food from the home countries of the teams playing during your party. If you’re not watching a live game, backyard barbeque fare will do nicely. Make your dessert table a “black and white” food table, to carry the soccer theme through. Here are some ideas:
- Black and white cookies
- Black licorice
- Soccer ball cupcakes
- Black and white taffy
- Coke floats
- Rocky road brownies (brownies with marshmallows baked into them)
The centerpiece of your World Cup Soccer Party entertainment will probably be the soccer games, themselves. But, you can host a soccer party any time, and here are some other activities.
- Soccer ball pinata: these are easy to find online or at party stores.
- Soccer scrimmage: form two teams and have a soccer scrimmage to 5 points. The winning team gets water guns.
- Guess the pentagons: how many pentagons are on a soccer ball? Let your guests guess. The one who gets the closest wins.
- Soccer ball toss: fill black or black and white balloons with water. Then have a water balloon toss. Last pair left wins a prize.
- Soccer drill obstacle course: set up cones and hoops, and other obstacles. Each person has to navigate the obstacle course. The one with the shortest time to cross the finish line wins.
- Football photo op: Create a soccer field vignette, and have uniforms, guards, shoes and soccer balls for party guests to pose with.
Soccer Party Favors
Send your soccer team home with these favorite soccer-themed goodies:
- DVD of Bend It Like Beckham
- Soccer ball shaped whistle
- Knee pads
- Bouncy balls that look like soccer balls
- Black and white jelly bean bags