Sport week: Classification in goalball

Athletes are assigned to three sport classes and have to wear eyeshades to ensure fair competition. 03 May 2016
Goalball at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.

Goalball at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.

ⒸJon Blacker for the IPC
By Rosanna Haroutounian and IPC

Athletes competing in goalball all have varying degrees of visual impairment ranging from B1-B3 sport classes.

B1: These athletes have a very low visual acuity and/ or no light perception.

B2: Athletes with a B2 sport class have a higher visual acuity than athletes competing in the B1 sport class and/ or a visual field of less than 5 degrees radius.

B3: Athletes with a B3 (or equivalent) sport class have the least severe visual impairment eligible for Paralympic sport. They have the highest visual acuity and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees radius.

In order to ensure a fair competition between the teams, all players must wear eyeshades during the game. Only athletes with visual impairment are eligible to compete.

Helpful links

IPC classification webpage

IBSA goalball rules and regulations pdf

Editor’s note: Each sport on the Rio 2016 Paralympic programme will have a dedicated week of featured content published on Every week a new sport will be featured and the series will run until September’s Games, helping the public understand more about the 22 sports being contested in Rio.


Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.