What is Goalball?
Goalball is a game played by two teams of three players with a maximum of three substitutions on each team. It is open to both male and female visually impaired athletes, and sighted players can also play domestically. It has three main distinguishing features:
- All players wear eyeshades so that they are totally blindfolded
- Goalball is played on an indoor court that is 18m long and 9m wide. The court has tactile markings (string that is taped to the floor), which helps players determine where they are
- The ball contains internal bells, which help players locate it during play.
The object of the game is to score a goal by bowling the ball along the floor so that it crosses the goal line of the opposing team. The defending team has to prevent the ball going in to their goal by stopping it while remaining in their team area. They must then try to control the ball and attack by bowling the ball back again thereby trying to score in the other goal.
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- Develop communication, teamwork and leadership skills
- Development of key physical skills including co-ordination, balance, speed and agility
Taster sessions can be free with following sessions costing as little as £2.
Starting a club can be done quite simply
You need :
- A quiet gym, and, if it has a volleyball court marked in it it's a bonus as this is the same size as a Goalball court and you can use these lines for guidance
- Tape and string to mark out the court
- A ball that makes a noise, preferably a goalball but if you have youngsters playing it may be advisable to start with a Jingle Ball which is larger and softer than a Goalball, or a Kixz football
- Padding, to cover elbows, knees, hips, chest (for girls) and groins (for boys);
- Eyeshades, like ski goggles but sleepshades could be used to start with, these are less expensive although they do not offer the same protection
- Some willing players!!
Goals can be formed from gym benches initially but players need to be warned to be careful not to fall over them.
Basic equipment includes eye shades, a goalball and goalball goals.
- Goalball was originally developed by Hanz Lorenzen (Austria) and Sepp Reindl (Germany) in 1946, as a rehabilitation programme for visually impaired World War II veterans.