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What is Goalball?

Goalball is the only true hand-ear coordination game in the world.

Invented in the 1940's to help in the rehabilitation of soldiers blinded in the second world war, Goalball is now a Paralympic sport played in over 100 countries around the world. 

The game itself is played on a volleyball sized court marked out with taped down string and a goal at

Australian Goalball Intro for the 2012 Regional Qualifiers

each end covering the full width of the court. Two teams of up to six players, 3 of each on the court at a time, try to defend their goal from throws of a ball from the other end of the court. After either blocking a goal or a score, the team then returns the ball to the opposition rolling the ball as fast as they can down to the other end of the court, in an attempt to score. The ball itself is the size and weight of a basketball, weighs around 1kg, is flat and so does not bounce and has a bell inside it so that the blindfolded players can only hear and move in response to its sound. All players are blindfolded and so play equally in listening and moving to stop the ball entering their goal.

A game lasts for two 12 minute halves and is highly aerobic as players stand to throw and crouch and dive to stop the ball, moving quickly around the court to both attack and defend. Games can be played by all ages and both genders, in both mixed and graded competitions. In the countries in Europe where the game is very popular, junior, women and men play at local, national and international level. Attendance at a Paralympics and part of a national Goalball squad is very prestigious and difficult to achieve as only 12 countries can attend. Many satellite tournaments are held around the world for grading and qualifying for the Paralympics.

The game has a large following around the world and played both for enjoyment as well as a rehabilitation technique for children born blind and those people losing sight later in life.

Goalball is the only true sport for the blind invented specifically to remove the issue of sight that allows all players to participate and enjoy on an equal footing.

What does Goalball sound like?

In this sport, it's all about sound.  So what does Goalball sound like from a player perspective?  Shane Wegner from Glasgow Goalball has uploaded a file to audioBoo called the sounds of Goalball.  There are a lot of Goalball videos out there but not a lot of quality audio to go with them - this is great.

To open a new page and play the recording (it should start when the page loads) click here  Best listened to with headphones.

So Why Play?

  • improves fitness
  • promotes healthy competition
  • improves mobility
  • improves orientation skills
  • improves hand-ear coordination
  • builds confidence
  • builds team spirit
  • a game that is truly fair for all players
  • it's GREAT fun!