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.
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.
- List of sports at the Paralympics
- Vision Impaired athletes and sports at the Paralympics
- Demonstration Paralympic Sports
- List of Sports for Athletes with Disabilities
- Complete list of sports
- more about Goalball
- main Paralympics page