Hello, we are FOCAL — the largest unofficial circuit of Countdown tournaments in the UK and Ireland.

Channel 4’s iconic gameshow Countdown is 35 years young, and is followed by fans of all ages. Among them is FOCAL, and you can try out our tournaments across the country!

Our next events are:
Saturday 18th August – Bournemouth – last few places!
Saturday 8th September – Huddersfield
Saturday 29th September – Dublin
Saturday 13th October – Blackpool
Saturday 24th November – Birmingham (Finals Day & Open)

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What’s it like? Well, the standard in the games can be high, but the atmosphere is always warm and friendly. Just read these attendees’ experiences of FOCAL — you’ll make friends before you know it! And after the tournament, there’s usually a tasty meal and a pub trip to look forward to.

The end of year class photo at our Birmingham Finals, December 2017.

#focalteasers on Twitter!

Want to get some practice in? We ran a series of #focalteasers on Twitter in January!

Every weekday morning, we posted two letters games, a numbers and a conundrum. Follow us @focalcountdown; you can still retweet us with your best answers!

focaltwitterscreengrabThere’s a possible 35 points from these four rounds… how high can you score?

How does FOCAL work?

14 qualifying events are being held across the UK and Ireland throughout 2018, up from 12 in 2017, run by each organiser in their local area.

Just for taking part, you score FOCAL Points, a scoring system based on how many people attend the event and how well you finish. For example, if 30 people attend an event then the winner scores 60 points, the runner-up 58 points, and so on. If more people come along, the higher your possible score!

At the end of the year, the eight players with the highest FOCAL Points scores are invited to take part in our Finals tournament, held in Birmingham in late November and which gives us an overall champion for the year. To qualify for our previous Finals, you would have needed a FOCAL Points score above 314 in 2016, and 363 in 2017.

You can read up on our 2017 Finals here!


Our tournaments are all arranged and hosted independently by organisers, who subscribe to FOCAL’s Code of Conduct. In return, FOCAL provides resources and support in their delivery. They are day events, usually running from mid-morning to early evening, in venues from community halls to function rooms.

Admission typically costs around £15pp, with refreshments either provided on-site or available nearby.
There are two formats: the classroom setup where everyone plays the same selections on a big screen, or the table format where people play in threes (two at a time, adjudicated by the third) using the board game.

174 people took part in our national circuit of events in 2017, up from 142 in 2016.
Average attendance at each event in 2017 was 34, up from 29.
Our best ever attendance was 68 at Milton Keynes in summer 2017.

More details on how FOCAL and its tournaments work are available in our FAQs section!

Is FOCAL endorsed by Countdown?

No — it’s run by a band of hardy volunteers led by a Chair and a Treasurer. It is completely unofficial, not-for-profit and not televised. No copyright infringement is intended. It governs itself according to a Code of Conduct and produces its own accounts, which it will start publishing in 2018.


For more information…

Email us at focalcountdown@gmail.com,
or follow our updates on Twitter @focalcountdown.

What are you waiting for? Find your nearest event here, hit us up on Facebook or Twitter, and join in the fun now!


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