Football 5-a-side was first introduced to the Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004. This sport is open to Para athletes with a visual impairment.
The game is played with modified FIFA rules, with five players making up each team. As the ball moves, it makes noise in order for the players to locate it by sound. Every player in the team must wear eyeshades except the goalkeeper who must be sighted and act as a guide throughout the duration of the game (50 minutes). The playing field is also much smaller than a standard football field and there are no offside rulings.
At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, 64 Para athletes from 8 countries competed in 1 medal event.
For more information on Football 5-a-side visit the International Blind Sports Federation.
Football 5-a-side is not currently played widely in New Zealand, but register your interest now and we will help you to find a Para sport for you in your local area!