Country Codes

Each country in the world has a two-letter code that represents the Internet domain assigned to that country. Here is a game that helps the participants memorize these country codes.


To fluently recall the two-letter Internet codes assigned to different countries.


Any number, divided into pairs.


Minimum: 15 minutes
Maximum: 40 minutes
Best: 20 minutes


  • 2-page handout listing country codes (43k PDF)
  • Paper and pencil for note taking
  • Index cards for keeping score
  • Timer
  • Whistle


Distribute the handout to all the participants. Tell the participants that the handout contains Internet domain country codes for 96 countries, 48 on each page. Announce that there will be a quiz contest on these country codes and encourage the participants to study the country codes carefully. Suggest that they memorize unusual codes, such as CH for Switzerland. Announce a 3-minute time limit and start the timer.

Pair up the participants. At the end of the assigned time, blow the whistle. Ask each participant to find a partner and sit (or stand) facing her. If one participant is left over, you become the partner.

Assign pages. Ask each partner to toss a coin. The winner owns the first page of the handout, and the other participant owns the second page. Ask one partner to hold up the handout so that each of the two pages faces the partner who owns the page. Each partner also takes an index card to keep track of the points earned by the other participant.

Begin grilling. Ask partners to take turns naming a country on their page of the handout. The other participant immediately says the two-letter Internet code for that country. If the answer is correct, the questioner makes a mark on the scorecard to award a point to the other player. If the other player names an incorrect country or does not name any country at all, the questioner shows the relevant part of the handout to display the correct country.

Continue playing. Monitor the group as they take turns naming different countries and giving the codes.

Conclude this round. Blow the whistle after 3 minutes. Ask the partners to add up the points awarded to the other player, write the total score on the index card, circle it, initial it, and give it to the other player.

Review the handout again. Explain that the participants will have an opportunity to ask questions from the other page. Suggest that they review the handout to get ready for the second round. Give the participants a 3-minute time limit.

Get set for the second round. Ask the participants to walk around and find a new partner who owned the other page during the previous round. As before, ask the partners to sit or stand facing each other and hold their handouts in such a way that they can see the new page.

Repeat the grilling procedure. Ask the partners to use the same procedure as before for naming different countries, giving the country code, and scoring points. Ask the partners to exchange their scorecards and use the other side for keeping track of the points for this round. At the end of a suitable time period, ask the partners to complete their scorecards.

Determine the winner. Ask the participants to add up their scores from the two rounds. Congratulate the highest scoring individual or individuals.