Sports- Brainstorming & Discussion


Brainstorming kinds of sports and then speaking about them

By: Alex Case
Level: Intermediate
Topic: Sport
Grammar Topic: General

Sports vocabulary brainstorming and discussion

Brainstorm as many sports as you can onto a mind map with categories and sub-categories.

Use these categories to expand and organise your brainstorming:

Air sports

Animal sports

Athletics/ Track and field

Ball sports

Bicycle sports


Cue sports

Gun sports

Martial arts

Mental sports

Motor sports

Water sports

Winter sports


Compare with the list below.

Air sports

Ballooning                                                   Gliding                             Hang gliding

Kite fighting                                                 Skydiving                                       Skysurfing


Animal sports

Bullfighting                                                  Camel racing                                Cockfighting

Dressage                                                     Fox hunting                                   Greyhound racing

Horse racing                                               Hunting                            Pigeon racing

Polo                                                              Rodeo                                            Sheepdog trials

Show jumping                               Sled dog racing


Athletics/ Track and field

Biathlon                                                       Cross country running   Discus

Hammer throwing                                      Heptathlon                                     High jump

Hurdles                                          Javelin                             Marathon

Pentathlon                                                   Pole vault                                       Race walking

Relay                                                            Shot put                                         Sprinting

Steeplechase                                Triathlon                                         Triple jump


Ball sports

(Field) hockey                               Australian Rules football             Baseball

Basketball                                                   Beach volleyball                           Boules/ Pétanque

Bowling (= ten pin bowling)/ skittles                                                  Crazy golf

Cricket                                            Croquet/ Gate ball                       Dodgeball

Football (= Association football = Soccer)                                       Football tennis

Futsal/ Five-a-side football                       Golf                                                 Handball

Lacrosse                                                      Lawn bowling/ Bowls     Netball

Pitch and putt                                Roller hockey                  Rounders

Rugby                                                          Softball                             Squash

Table tennis (= ping pong)         


Bicycle sports

BMX                                                             Keirin                                              Mountain biking

Track cycling                                               Tour de France               Unicycling



Abseiling                                                     Bouldering                                     Free climbing



Cue sports

Billiards                                          Pool                                                Snooker


Gun sports

Clay pigeon shooting                   Target shooting



Martial arts

Aikido                                                           Archery                            Arm wrestling

Boxing                                            Fencing                                          Graeco-Roman wrestling

Judo                                                             Karate                                            Kendo

Kung fu                                          Laser quest                                   MMA (= mixed martial arts)

Paintball                                                      Sumo wrestling               Tai Chi

Taekwondo                                                  Thai boxing/ Muay Thai


Mental sports

Bridge                                                          Chess


Motor sports

Drag racing                                                 F1 (= Formula 1)                          Go-kart racing

NASCAR                                                     Rally


Water sports

Angling (= fishing)                                      Backstroke                                    Breaststroke

Butterfly                                                        Canoeing                                       Diving

Freestyle/ Crawl                                         Kayaking                                       Kite surfing

Lifesaving                                                    Open water swimming  Rafting

Rowing                                          Sailing                              Scuba diving

Surfing                                           Synchronised swimming             Wakeboarding

Water polo                                                   Water-skiing                                  Windsurfing


Winter sports

Bobsleigh                                                    Ice hockey                                     Luge

Nordic skiing/ cross country skiing                                                    Ski jumping

Skiing                                                           Snowboarding                Speed skating



Aerobics                                                      Ballroom dancing                         Baton twirling

Bungee jumping                                         Competitive eating                       Darts

Geo-caching                                               Gymnastics                                   Hiking

Juggling                                                       Orienteering                                  Skateboarding

Skipping                                                      Three-legged race                        Trampoline

Tug of war                                                   Ultimate Frisbee                           Weightlifting

Yoga                                                             Yo-yo


Did you think of any words or categories which aren’t above?

Are there any sports above which you don’t know?


Language tasks

Find at least four things from the list above or your own list:

  • Only done indoors
  • Types of swimming
  • Sports that go with the verb “play”
  • Sports that go with the verb “go”
  • Sports that go with the verb “do”
  • Three syllables
  • Stressed on the first syllable


Speaking tasks

Work together to choose at least five things from the list above and your own list that match each of these categories:

  • Not really sports
  • Not in the Olympics but should be
  • In the Olympics but shouldn’t be
  • Likely to become more popular in the future.
  • Likely to become less popular in the future
  • Likely to disappear this century
  • Shouldn’t be played in schools
  • Good ways of getting fit
  • Should be available for everyone to watch on free terrestrial TV
  • Not shown on terrestrial TV but should be
  • Shouldn’t be on terrestrial TV
  • Should be very tightly controlled or banned.
  • Embarrassing to be seen doing.
  • Only suitable for older/ younger people
  • Only suitable for males/ females
  • Too violent
  • Relaxing
  • Likely to lead to injury
  • Boring
  • Pointless
  • Too complicated
  • Candidates for the national sport of this country


Brainstorm language that you could have used above into these categories:

Giving opinions









Use phrases like those to compare your ideas with another group.

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