Goalball is a team sport designed specifically for blind athletes and was originally designed to assist in the rehabilitation of visually impaired World War II veterans. Participants compete in teams of three and try to throw a ball embedded with bells into the opponents’ goal. Teams alternate throwing or rolling the ball from one end of the playing area to the other, and players remain in the area of their own goal in both defence and attack. Players must use the sound of the bell to judge the position and movement of the ball. Games consist of two 12-minute halves. Eyeshades allow partially sighted players to compete on an equal footing with blind players. It is an intensely unique spectator sport given the venue atmosphere and extreme concentration and silence required by the athletes.
What’s in it for you?
Most people who are visually impaired or blind usually do not have many opportunities to be involved in team sports and physical activity. Goalball requires team communication, coordination and strategic skills, and offers many social and physical benefits. Hence, one of the great benefits of goal ball is that it promotes teamwork and cooperation among participants.
In addition, because goalball acts as a medium for breaking down barriers as individuals who are sighted and visually impaired can play together at a recreational level. A natural result of this is that it helps promote awareness within the community of what individuals who are visually impaired can do.
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