A game for people with visual impairments, players try to score goals by quickly and precisely firing a 1.25kg ball across the court and defending shots from the opposing team using their bodies.
Each team can have up to six players, three on the court during play with three additional players that can be substituted during the game. Players wear eyeshades to ensure a level-playing field where athletes with complete blindness compete with and against those with less severe – but still acute – visual impairments. The ball contains several bells so that players can locate its position. In addition the goalball court is marked with raised lines so that players can feel their location at any time.
To ensure the players can hear everything that is going on and properly absorb the intensity of the atmosphere, spectators must be completely silent during play.
Games are split into two 12 minute halves and are played on a court measuring 18m x 9m wide. Goals span the width of each 9m court end. A goal is one point and is scored when the ball completely crosses the opponent’s goal line.