World Cup Maths Problems And Investigations For Your School

For anyone that doesn’t know already, the World Cup is in full swing and this gives us the perfect chance to introduce some KS2 World Cup Maths problems into the classroom.

With 32 teams, 64 matches, and 736 players all forming a part of the worlds biggest sporting tournament, there is plenty of opportunity for intrepid mathematicians to get involved from their classrooms.

Ranging from mean, median and mode to the measurements of a football pitch, in this blog we will be sharing some World Cup Maths problems and activities that you can use both inside and outside the primary classroom.

The only question left is: which one will you kick off your lesson with?

World Cup maths activities for inside the classroom

Below are four different activities that will test pupils’ ability on a number of Mathematical topics.

1. Recording all possibilities through football scores

This question will test pupils’ ability to consider all possible scores from a match that took place during the 2014 World Cup.

2014 World Cup Football Maths Question


Football Maths Question Answers
All possible half time scores
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2. Match the matches

For Years 3 & 4:

England and Brazil have played fifteen times throughout their history, and the data below represents these matches. 

Football Maths Question - Brazil vs England

Two of the types of data above show the goals scored by England and two show Brazil’s goals.

Can you match the data to the teams, using these clues to help you?

• England scored 30 goals in total.

• England’s most frequent number of goals scored was 3.

• Brazil scored 30 goals in their 15 matches. They only had 1 match where they didn’t score any goals.


• England: Pictogram and tally chart

• Brazil: Table and bar line chart

For Years 5 & 6:

Two football teams, England and Brazil, have played each other 15 times throughout their history.

Year 5 and 6 Football Maths Questions
Data for Year 5 and Year 6

Two of the types of data above show the goals scored by England and two show Brazil’s goals.

Can you match the data to the teams, using the clues to help you?

• The mode number of goals scored by England is 3.
• The mean number of goals scored by England is one less than the mode.
• The median number of goals scored by Brazil is 2.
• The mean number of goals scored by Brazil is equal to the median number of goals.
• The mode number of goals scored by Brazil is 1 less than the mean number of goals scored by Brazil.

Read more: Mean median mode


• England: Pictogram and tally chart
Brazil: Pie chart and bar line chart

Is Sports Day coming up soon? Find out 5 ways you can integrate it with Maths whilst gaining the benefits of outside learning.

3. Average analysis

These two tables show the results from Group A and Group B at the 2014 World Cup.

Football Maths - World Cup 2014 Question
The results from Groups A & B at the 2014 World Cup

Using the image above, work out the answers to the following questions:

2014 World Cup Football Maths Questions
The questions for the above table.


  1. 40
  2. The Netherlands
  3. Spain vs Netherlands
  4. Brazil vs Mexico
  5. Mean = 1.7, Mode = 0, Median = 1 
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One of the ways Third Space Learning helps to improve KS2 pupils’ engagement in their one to one maths interventions is by involving their personal interests, whether it’s football, rugby, baking or cycling!

4. The England squad – mean, mode and median

Football Maths - England Football Question
The current stats for the England football squad

Work out the answers to these questions based on the information above.

  1. Work out the mean age of the England squad.
  2.  Work out the mode age of the England squad.
  3. Work out the median age of the England squad.
  4.  What is the total age of the players in the England squad?
  5. Work out the total age of the defence (not including GK).
  6. Work out the total age of the midfield.
  7. Work out the total age of the attack.


  1. 25.5
  2. 24
  3. 25
  4. 588
  5. 268
  6. 120
  7. 125

World Cup maths activities for outdoors

As well as some tricky tasks for your class to tackle inside the classroom, here are 2 football based activities you can do outside with your pupils.

1. Measuring a football pitch

A football pitch is made of a series of interconnected lines, and this gives you the perfect opportunity to practise your classes measuring skills.

All you will need is a tape measure, metre stick or trundle wheel and you can get your class to discover things such as:

What is the total length of all of the lines on a football pitch (in metres and centimetres)?

What is the area of the football pitch?

What is the circumference of the centre circle?

What is the length of the pitch?

How many rectangles are there on the football pitch?

2. Scoring a goal using Maths!

This is a simple activity that can help visualise and reinforce halves, thirds and quarters amongst pupils.

What you will need:

• A football goal

• A few lengths of string

• A football

• An excited class!

How to execute the activity

Step 1:

To begin you will need to cut lengths of string to break the goal up into halves, thirds or quarters.

Step 2:

Now you will need to tie the pieces of string to the goal posts to break the goal up into the desired quadrants. Please see below for help.

Football Maths Outdoor Activity

Step 3:

Label each quadrant with a number.

Football Maths Sector Game

Step 4:

Get your class to line up behind the penalty spot and prepare to take a penalty each.

Step 5:

The fun begins! You will now need to shout out a number which corresponds to the quadrant you want the pupil who is taking the penalty to hit. Once they have taken their penalty, they will head to the back of the line to wait for their turn to come around again.

Fun twists on this activity

You can put a few fun twists on the game such as time limits for the whole class to make sure they have scored a goal in every quadrant, breaking the class down into teams, or even going in goal yourself to make things a little more difficult!

However, if the weather doesn’t play ball and you are unable to get outside the classroom, take a look at this online fractions penalty shootout game or this World Cup Arithmetic puzzle by @alexbellos instead!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our World Cup Maths ideas. Now the only World Cup Maths problem left to calculate is how likely England are to go out of the tournament extremely early…

Let us know what your school gets up to throughout the World Cup, and share it by tweeting us on @thirdspacetweet!

If you still want to have fun but are looking for an alternative to football based activities to do with your class, why not take a look at our 10 ridiculously fun Maths lessons to teach KS2?

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Learn about the emphasis on building a positive maths mindset or request a personalised quote for your school to speak to us about your school’s needs and how we can help.


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