Goalball is a sport that was formed in 1946 to rehabilitate visually impaired veterans who returned from World War II. It was then introduced to the world in 1976 at the Paralympic Games in Toronto where it was, and still is, played by visually impaired athletes.
Para athletes use blackout masks to ensure equality on the playing indoor court, as the severity of Para athletes’ impairment may differ. The sport consists of three players in each team and two goals. Each game involves two halves of 12 minutes each. The object of the game is for players to throw the ball so that it rolls towards/into the opposite goal, while opposing players try to block the ball with their bodies to avoid conceding a goal. The rubber ball has a bell inside it to orient players, indicating the direction of the on-coming ball. Whilst play is in progress, complete silence is required in the venue to allow the players to instantly react to the ball.
At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, 119 Para athletes from 14 countries competed in 2 different medal events.
For more information on Goalball visit the International Blind Sports Federation.
Goalball is currently played in some regions in New Zealand. Register your interest now and we will help you to find a Para sport for you in your local area!