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How to Throw a World Cup Viewing Party
The FIFA World Cup pits soccer teams from 32 countries against each other during a month-long event every four years. Since it only comes around every few years, people embrace the camaraderie, competition and national pride of the games more so than a city or league game. You can enhance your World Cup experience by hosting a World Cup viewing party.
Picking a Game
Download a World Cup schedule onto iCal or Google Calendar or print out the brackets.
Print out the TV listings.In the United States, ABC, ESPN and Univision will be airing World Cup games. If you want to host a party but you don’t have cable television, you will need to plan it during one of the 10 games that will be aired on the ABC network.
Pick a game that your friends will enjoy.If your friends aren’t avid soccer fans who watch foreign leagues, then you should choose a game featuring the home team in your country. Everyone can appreciate the national pride.
- If your friends are avid soccer fans, choose a more heated game against rivals who repeatedly win the World Cup. France, Brazil, Argentina, England, Germany and Italy are generally crowd-pleasing games.
Determine the involvement of your friends.You may ask your friends to pick a team or even bet on the whole World Cup results. If they are soccer fans, start an email chain, a fantasy World Cup league or a group Facebook page to increase the excitement before the day.
Planning the Party
Set your budget.You will need at least to to get snacks and decorations. However, you can also have an elaborate party with color-themed costumes, sports memorabilia and a full dinner if you have a larger budget.
Send out an invitation at least two weeks in advance.Soccer fans start making their plans to watch World Cup games weeks or months in advance, and you will have some competition from other parties during your home team’s group round and qualifying games.
- The type of invitations you send out will depend upon your budget. If you have a low-budget party, send emails or e-vites. If you have a larger budget, send mail and online invitations. If you have a large invitation, consider sending out flags or key chains for the national teams to get everyone excited.
- You may also want to plan an impromptu party when you team qualifies for the next round. Send email invitations and go to the dollar store for supplies a day in advance.
Consider planning ethnic or country-specific food.If Italy is playing, make spaghetti or have pizza. If Germany is playing, consider sausages.
- Create a culinary play-off by providing food from both of the competing countries. If your friends are foodie’s, this is a great way to peak their interest.
- Choose finger foods if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on disposable plates and silverware.
Buy decorations.At the very least, opt for streamers and balloons in the countries’ colors. Consider these other options as well:
- Split the room up by color and country. Decorate one side of the room in one country’s color combo and the other side in the opposing teams colors. Guests can choose sides if they want to promote the rivalry.
- Buy inexpensive cotton shirts or tank tops in the teams’ colors. If you don’t think people will wear jerseys, they can decorate their shirt with marker when they get there. Have a team roster and ask them to choose a player and write the last name across their shoulders.
- Order team flags. You can get a set of 10 country team flags for on the Internet. You can also find flag drink picks, stickers and temporary tattoos, if you want to provide more for your guests.
Send out a reminder several days in advance.Remind people to bring a dish or wear team colors if they want to. Announce that the party will start promptly 30 minutes before kickoff to avoid interruptions during the game.
Tell your neighbors about the party and invite them.If the game is at night, it can be disruptive. Controversial calls and penalty shootouts can cause fans to yell.
Hosting the Party
Get the décor and food ready at least an hour in advance.Some fans may come over for a pre-game show or a pre-game drink. You want to encourage early attendance when a game is televised live.
Don’t get too competitive.Unless everyone is rooting for the same team, don’t be too aggressive. You should encourage friendly competition, not anger toward an opposing team.
Ask the guests to get involved.Encourage them to dress up or don a streamer as a scarf.
Open up a place for non-fans to go that’s away from the TV.A porch or another room will allow them to leave without interrupting the game for the fans.
Set up another activity.A foosball table, lawn soccer field or small foam soccer set will be popular with athletic or competitive friends.
Celebrate when the game is going well.Keep spirits up when it’s not going well. You may find yourself in the role of the cheerleader as the host.
Go for a celebratory drink.Continue the celebration down at the pub or bar if you are exhausted from your hosting duties.
Things You'll Need
World Cup brackets
Foosball table/soccer balls
Sources and Citations
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