GE|Adults|Intermediate|9. Sports Superstitions

Warm-up

1.1 Athletes and sportsmen are very superstitious, watch this video about superstitions and answer the questions:


1. Are rituals important for sportsmen? Why?

2. Do rituals work?

3. Do you have any rituals?

4. What rituals did they mention?


1.2 Watch the video again and fill in the gaps with the missing words.

Vocabulary

1.1 What are these items for?


1.2 Match the words and the pictures.

team
captain

Unselect

fans

Unselect

team

Unselect

referee, umpire

Unselect

players

Unselect

stadium

Unselect

sports hall, arena

Unselect

spectators, the crowd

Unselect

coach

Unselect

players
captain

Unselect

fans

Unselect

team

Unselect

referee, umpire

Unselect

players

Unselect

stadium

Unselect

sports hall, arena

Unselect

spectators, the crowd

Unselect

coach

Unselect

sports-hall
captain

Unselect

fans

Unselect

team

Unselect

referee, umpire

Unselect

players

Unselect

stadium

Unselect

sports hall, arena

Unselect

spectators, the crowd

Unselect

coach

Unselect

coach-1
captain

Unselect

fans

Unselect

team

Unselect

referee, umpire

Unselect

players

Unselect

stadium

Unselect

sports hall, arena

Unselect

spectators, the crowd

Unselect

coach

Unselect

spectators
captain

Unselect

fans

Unselect

team

Unselect

referee, umpire

Unselect

players

Unselect

stadium

Unselect

sports hall, arena

Unselect

spectators, the crowd

Unselect

coach

Unselect

stadium
captain

Unselect

fans

Unselect

team

Unselect

referee, umpire

Unselect

players

Unselect

stadium

Unselect

sports hall, arena

Unselect

spectators, the crowd

Unselect

coach

Unselect

captain
captain

Unselect

fans

Unselect

team

Unselect

referee, umpire

Unselect

players

Unselect

stadium

Unselect

sports hall, arena

Unselect

spectators, the crowd

Unselect

coach

Unselect

referee-umpire
captain

Unselect

fans

Unselect

team

Unselect

referee, umpire

Unselect

players

Unselect

stadium

Unselect

sports hall, arena

Unselect

spectators, the crowd

Unselect

coach

Unselect

fans
captain

Unselect

fans

Unselect

team

Unselect

referee, umpire

Unselect

players

Unselect

stadium

Unselect

sports hall, arena

Unselect

spectators, the crowd

Unselect

coach

Unselect


 


2.1 Match the places and sports.


3.1 Fill in the gaps with the past tense and past participles.


win and beat

⦁ You win a medal, a competition or a match.

⦁ You beat another team or person.

NOT Madrid won Barcelona.


4.1 Complete the sentences using the past form of the verbs given in the exercise 3.1.


5.1 Fill in the gaps with the given words.


Phrasal verbs

⦁ It’s important to warm up before you do any exercises. (=do light exercise to get ready)

⦁ My brother works out every morning. (=does exercise at a gym)

⦁ The player got a red card and was sent off after touching the ball with his hand. (= told to leave the pitch / court, etc.)

⦁ My team was knocked out in the semi-finals. (= eliminated)

Speaking

1.1 Answer the questions.

pic1_GE_Int_9


1. What sport do you watch?

2. What sport/s do you practice?

3. How often do you practice it?

4. Where do you practice it?

5. Which sport do you like the most?

6. Do you have any superstitions, when you’re playing or watching sport, or before the exam?

Reading

1.1 Do you know any sportsmen who are superstitious? What rituals do they do?


1.2 Read the text about the most famous superstitious sportsmen and complete it with the given phrases.



1.3 Find five words or phrases you want to remember from the article. Find their definitions and learn by heart.

Listening

1.1 Do you know any referees? Are they well-paid, respected, popular? Why do you think somebody would want to become a referee?


1.2 You’re going to listen to an interview with an ex-Champions League football referee from Spain. Listen to Part 1 and choose the answers.

Juan Antonio

I = Interviewer, JA = Juan Antonio

Part 1
I: What made you want to become a referee?
JA: My father was a referee, but that didn’t influence me – in fact, the opposite because I saw all the problems that he had as a referee. But as a child I was always attracted by the idea of being a referee and at school I used to referee all kinds of sports, basketball, handball, volleyball, and of course football. I’m proud that I was invited to join the Referees’ Federation when I was only 14 years old.
I: Were you good at sport yourself?
JA: Yes. I was a very good handball player. People often think that referees become referees because they are frustrated sportsmen, but as practice shows this is just not true.
I: What was the most exciting match you ever refereed?
JA: It ‘s difficult to choose one match as the most exciting. I remember some of the Real Madrid — Barcelona matches, for example the first one I ever refereed. The atmosphere was incredible in the stadium. But really it’s impossible to pick just one — there have been so many.
***
I: What was the worst experience you ever had as a referee?
JA: The worst? Well, that was something that happened very early in my career. I was only 16 and I was refereeing a match in a town in Spain and the home team lost. After the match, I was attacked and injured by the players of the home team and by the spectators. After all these years I can still remember a mother, who had a little baby in her arms, who was trying to hit me. She was so angry with me that she nearly dropped her baby. That was my worst moment, and it almost made me stop being a referee.
***
I: Do you think that there’s more cheating in football now?
JA: Yes, I think so.
I: Why?
JA: I think it’s because there’s so much money in football today that it has become much more important to win.
***
I: How do footballers cheat?
JA: Oh, there are many ways, but for me the worst thing in football today is what we call ‘simulation’. Simulation is when a player pretends to have been fouled when in fact he hasn’t. For example, sometimes a player falls over in the penalty area when, in fact, nobody has touched him and this can result in the referee giving a penalty when it wasn’t a penalty. In my opinion, when a player does this he’s cheating not only the referee, not only the players of the other team, but also the spectators, because spectators pay money to see a fair contest.



2.1 Listen to the Part 2 of the interview, fill in the gaps with one to three words.

Part 2

Part 2
I: What ‘s the most difficult thing in your profession?
JA: The most difficult thing is to make the right decisions during a match. It’s difficult because you have to make decisions when everything’s happening so quickly – football today is very fast. Also important decisions often depend on the referee’s interpretation of the rules. Things aren’t only black and white. And of course making decisions would be much easier if players didn’t cheat.
I: Do you think that the idea of fair play doesn’t exist anymore?
JA: Not at all. I think fair play does exist — the players who cheat are the exceptions.
I: At the end of our interview I want to ask you: who do you think is the best player in the world at the moment?
JA: I think most people agree that the best footballer today is Leo Messi.
I: Why do you consider him to be the best?
JA: It ‘s hard to say what makes him so special, but a study was done on him which showed that Messi can run faster with the ball than many footballers can do without the ball. What I also like about him is that he isn’t the typical superstar footballer. You can see that he enjoys playing football and he behaves in public and in his personal life in a very normal way. That’s unusual when you think how famous he is. And what’s more he doesn’t cheat — he doesn’t need to.


2.2 Do you agree that now there is more cheating in football than it used to be? Why (not)? Would you like to be a referee? Why (not)?

Grammar

1.1 Answer the following questions:

1. Is cheating in sport considered to be a big problem in your country?
2. In what sport do you think cheating is most common?
3. What kind of thing do people do when they cheat?


1.2 Read the text about the most famous cheats in sports.

The most famous cheats in sports

pic3_GE_INT_9


Sylvester Carmouche

On a very foggy day in January 1990, at Louisiana’s Delta Downs track, Carmouche aroused the suspicions of the stewards by riding home 23-1 outsider Landing Officer by 24 lengths in just a second over the course record.
It transpired that Carmouche, who initially protested his innocence, had dropped out of the one-mile race as soon as he was out of view, only to rejoin it just before the rest of the field came round on the second lap. He finally admitted what he had done and served a ban for eight years.

David Robertson

In the 1985 qualifying round for the Open at Deal, Kent, the former Scottish boys champion took advantage of golf’s culture of honesty and self-regulation. After 14 holes, Robertson’s playing companions called an official who disqualified him for repeatedly replacing his ball incorrectly on the greens.
By arriving on the green first Robertson would appear to mark his ball before surreptitiously moving it closer to the hole. The shamed golfer was fined £20,000 and banned from the PGA European Tour for 20 years.

Boris Onischenko

Representing Soviet Union in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, the respected pentathlete was looking to improve on the silver medal he had been awarded four years previously in Munich.
In his desire to win, Onischenko bent the rules by using a crooked sword. Having wired a switch into the handle of his épée, he was able to claim an electronic ‘hit’ even when he missed. When Great Britain’s Adrian Parker and then countryman Jim Fox reported their doubts over the authenticity of Onischenko’s victories, his weapon was replaced, and he was eventually disqualified. As a result Onischenko was given the nickname «Disonischenko», which descends from the word «dishonest».
Fencing rules were subsequently changed so that grips that could hide wires or switches were banned.



2.1 Look at the highlighted verbs in the text. Which of them are used for:

⦁ a completed action in the past;
⦁ an action that happened before the past time we are talking about;
⦁ an action in progress (or not) at a particular moment in the past.



2.2 Choose and mark the correct form.


3.1 Complete with the past simple, past continuous, or past perfect.

Speaking

1.1 Choose two of the topics below and plan what you are going to say. Ask your teacher for any words you need.

TELL YOUR TEACHER ABOUT:

pic5_GE_Int_9

a time you cheated (in a sport / game or in an exam)
When and where did this happen? What were you doing? Why did you cheat? What happened in the end?

a really exciting sports event you saw
Where and when was it? Who was playing? What happened? Why was it so exciting?

a time you had an accident or got a sports injury
When and where did this happen? What were you doing? How did the accident happen? What part of your body did you hurt? What happened next? How long did it take you to recover?

a time you got lost
Where were you going? How were you travelling? Why did you get lost? What happened in the end?

a time you saw or met a celebrity
When was it? Where were you? Who was with you? What was the celebrity doing? What was she/he wearing? Did you speak to him/her? What happened in the end?


Start your anecdote with:

⦁ I’m going to tell you about a time when…
⦁ This happened a few years ago…
⦁ When I was younger…

Writing

1.1 Read a story about the meeting with a celebrity? Do you think it is funny?

pic6_GE_Int_9

Julia Roberts Sat At My Table

I was sitting at the Cow, a cafe in Arroyo Seco, NM and I had been playing didgeridoo. I had just begun telling a story about how I attracted UFOs with my didgeridoo when Julia and her entourage sat across from us. They looked at as I spoke so I thought they were interested and included them as part of my audience. She was wearing giant sunglasses so I did not recognize her until she pulled her glasses low to give me a «What planet are you from?» look. I just winked at her.


1.2 Write about your meeting with a celebrity (or invent one). Plan what you’re going to write using the paragraph headings below.

Paragraph 1
When was it? Where were you? Who with? Why?

Paragraph 2
How did you meet him/her? What happened?

Paragraph 3
What happened at the end?

pic7_GE_Int_9


Homework

1.1 Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verbs in brackets. Use the past simple, past continuous or past perfect.


2.1 Read the extract from the article.

GE_Int_9_8


Cheating

Seventy students were involved in a pattern of smartphone-enabled cheating last month at Stuyvesant High School, New York City officials said Monday, describing an episode that has blemished one of the country’s most prestigious public schools.
The cheating involved several state exams and was uncovered after a cellphone was confiscated from a 16-year-old junior during a citywide language exam on June 18, according to a city Department of Education investigation.
Cellphones are not permitted in city schools, and when officials looked into the student’s phone, they found a trail of text messages, including photos of test pages, that suggested pupils had been sharing information about state Regents exams while they were taking them.
Sixty-nine students had received the messages and responded to them, the department said.
All of the students will have to retake the exams, and the one whose phone was confiscated, who was said to be at the center of the cheating network, faces possible suspension and may have to transfer to another school by fall, the department said. Four other students involved in the cheating could also face suspension, a spokeswoman said.
“Cheating has taken place for who knows how long,” the school’s chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, said Monday morning in an interview on the John Gambling show, a radio program in New York. “Now with technology, and that’s why we banned cellphones; people have the ability to use new technology to try to cheat. So people are always trying to think of new ways to do things. It’s not acceptable.”
The revelations that dozens of Stuyvesant students had cheated on tests not considered particularly challenging for them were the latest example of the competitive pressures inside top schools. In December, officials uncovered widespread cheating on an English final exam by students at a well-regarded school outside Houston; hundreds of students were believed to be involved, and 60 were disciplined. An SAT cheating scandal on Long Island last year, in which test takers used fake IDs to impersonate other students, led to nationwide changes in the way college admissions exams are administered.
Cheating has been a difficult issue for Stuyvesant for some years, one that students have not shied from confronting. An editorial in the Stuyvesant newspaper, The Spectator, two years ago pinpointed a culture of “academic dishonesty,” whose roots derived from an emphasis on numerical success, like high test scores, rather than on valuing learning that is not as easy to measure.


2.2 Mark the statements as true (T) or false (F).


2.3 Read the definitions and write the words.


3.1 Fill in the gaps with the past simple of the verbs in the box.


4.1 Listen to a radio programme about a sporting scandal. Which country won the competition in the end?

radio programme teenagers

Sporting scandal

Speaker: Welcome back to our show. We’ve been talking about famous sports cheats in today’s programme, and right now our guest Tom is going to tell us about another scandal. The sport was badminton, and the venue was the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Hi, Tom.
Tom: Hello, everybody.
Presenter: So who was involved in the scandal, Tom?
Tom: Well, the scandal involved four of the teams in the women’s doubles competition. In the end, eight players were disqualified for cheating: two pairs from South Korea, a pair from China, and a pair from Indonesia.
Presenter: And what exactly happened?
Tom: Well, basically the teams played badly just to make sure they lost their matches.
Presenter: Why would they do that?
Tom: Well, to explain that I’ll very quickly tell you about how the competition system works. The matches are divided into different stages. Teams play against other teams in their group in the first stage, and if they win, they play in the next stage. So sometimes, a team might get a good opponent very early in the competition, which means they might not get through to the next stage.
Presenter: Got it. So when did the cheating happen?
Tom: Well, the problem started on the last day of the first stage. In the morning, the first Chinese team won their match, finishing second in their group. The second Chinese team was going to play against a South Korean team that evening, and whoever won that match would be likely to play against the first Chinese team in the next stage.
Presenter: Why was this a problem?
Tom: Neither team wanted to play against the first Chinese team because the South Korean team were sure they would lose, and the second Chinese team didn’t want to play against a team from the same country yet, because that would mean that only one Chinese team was left to try to win a medal. So both teams both tried to lose against each other instead.
Presenter: How did they do that?
Tom: Well, both the South Koreans and the second Chinese team started missing shots. When they served, they either hit the shuttlecock into the net or they hit it so hard that it went outside the lines on the court. In the end, they looked like amateurs whereas they were, in fact, some of the best players in the world.
Presenter: So who lost the match?
Tom: The second Chinese team. South Korea beat them in both sets.
Presenter: What about the other two teams?
Tom: Well, they tried to do exactly the same thing in the next match.
Presenter: Which teams were these, again?
Tom: Indonesia and another South Korean pair.
Presenter: So in both matches, the teams tried to lose instead of trying to win so they’d have a better chance of winning a medal. Is that right?
Tom: Yes. That’s exactly what happened. And it was really obvious, too all the spectators started booing, it was so bad. After the second match there was an investigation and all eight players were disqualified.
Presenter: And what about the competition? Did it stop there?
Tom: No, it carried on without the disqualified players.
Presenter: And who won the gold medal in the end?
Tom: The first Chinese team. They beat the Japanese team in both sets. It was quite a good match, actually!
Presenter: Tom, thanks for joining us.
Tom: My pleasure.