It's A Knockout and Jeux Sans Frontières boldly entered the new decade and appeared for the first time in colour (with the exception of International Heats 1-3).

The Domestic It’s A Knockout series saw a four-way tie for the highest-scoring losing team to represent Great Britain in the West German International Heat, and a play-off game had to be held to decide it!

In West Germany, in Spiel Ohne Grenzen, fourteen cities fought it out for the right to represent their country in the International series. The lavish Radevormwald Domestic Heat proved a highlight and was held at the Kollenberg Stadium - quite distinct from Spiel Ohne Grenzen's usual marketplace, castle courtyard and car park settings. The theme of the competition was 'The 1001 Nights' and the edition was notable for its impressive sets. With the exception of the first heat, which Kellheim won at a canter, all the 1970 West German Domestics were close run contests, as might be expected considering the high level of performance of West German teams during this phase of the International series.

A new Domestic competition made its debut this year in Spain, produced by Televisión Española (TVE). Entitled Un Pueblo Para Europa, this series was intended to lead to qualification for Jeux Sans Frontières 1971, but in the fullness of time TVE reconsidered their position and withdrew due to financial concerns (see the 1971 Introduction for further details).

Meanwhile on the International stage, France returned to Jeux Sans Frontières after a year out (and two years out as broadcaster) and Netherlands joined in the fun for the first time making the 1970 series the biggest yet.

The animated opening title sequence this year lasted 1 minute 34 seconds and utilised footage from the 1969 animation with the addition of the Netherlands as flower-sellers and the France represented by the Can-Can dance and champagne. The theme music was rearranged to incorporate these new elements.

The choice of games was up to a European Committee, based upon suggestions made by each country. Apparently, experts could tell which country had proposed which game: the British favoured games to test strength and toughness, while the Germans went for games which involved dressing up. Meanwhile, the French favoured a sense of danger, although this meant that many of their suggestions had to be turned down for being too risky!

Jokers were permitted to be played on the last game until the end of 1971, after which the rules were changed and teams had to play their Jokers on the games on which teams missed out (i.e. Games 1-7). The result was that for this year and 1971 there was an imbalance of the highest achievable score (dependant on where it was played) because the last game carried 14 points if the Joker was won, whereas the other playable games carried a maximum of 12 points on the Joker. However, from 1972 a change in the rules meant that Jokers were not permitted to be played on the final game, restoring a parity to the highest achievable scores once again.

The first three International Heats in Italy, Switzerland and Belgium were all made and transmitted in black and white. The remainder of the series was made in colour - the first series of Jeux Sans Frontières to be transmitted in this way. However, not all international broadcasters were by this time in a position to screen the series in anything other than monochrome. Belgium's colour television service began in 1971, the French were still sporadically broadcasting in black-and-white in 1973 and incredibly, the Italians had to wait until 1977 for colour to be introduced, the delay accredited to political turmoil.

Although the series moved into colour, the main scoreboard used remained resolutely black and white. However, the blue electronic scoreboard that would be used from 1971 in Jeux Sans Frontières was tested out at the Groningen heat as a secondary scoreboard.

The International Final was held this year at the historic Roman Amphitheatre in Verona, Italy. After four years of West German domination, the Jeux Sans Frontières Golden Trophy was won by the host nation.

The end of the year saw the first of fifteen annual It’s A Christmas Knockout specials, starting with teams from Great Britain and the Netherlands, who did battle in the competition held at Leiden, Netherlands. The teams were made up of It's A Knockout and Zeskamp competitors, with professional footballers from Chelsea Football Club (Peter Bonetti and John Hollins) joining the Great Yarmouth team and Dutch professionals Jan Van Beveren (PSV Eindhoven FC) and Johan Cruyff (Ajax Football Club) joining those representing Alphen aan den Rijn.

JSFnetGB Series Guide pages researched by
Alan Hayes, David Hamilton, Neil Storer, Christos Moustakas, Philippe Minet,
Sébastien Dias, Ischa Bijl and Paul Leaver