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Goalball at the Paralympic Games

Goalball is a team sport designed specifically for blind athletes. The sport was devised back in 1946 to help rehabilitate war veterans returning from World War II. Participants compete in teams of three, and try to throw a ball into the opponents' goal. A match consists of two halves of 12 minutes each. The ball (like in football 5-a-side) has bells embedded in it.

Goalball is played by male and female teams. The athletes wear blackout eye masks on the playing court, which allows players with varying degrees of vision to participate together.

The Paralympic goalball competitions are set apart from the other Paralympic events because of the unique atmosphere required inside the playing venue - goalball requires silence in the stands during the game so players can hear the bells in the ball and the officials' instructions.

a goalball game a goalball game for blind athletes

Goalball was a demonstration sport at the 1972 Summer Paralympics in Heidelberg, Germany, and made its debut as an official sport at the Paralympics in 1976. It was the first Paralympic sport designed exclusively for disabled players.

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Paralympics Extra

The next Summer Paralympics will be in Paris 2024, followed by the 2026 Winter Paralympics. Also, check out the list of Paralympic sports, and top medal winners.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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