Goalball is played by two teams of three visually impaired athletes on an indoor court with tactile lines, with goals (9m wide x 1.3m high) at either end. The aim is to score by rolling the ball into the opposition’s goal, while the opposition attempts to block the ball with their bodies.
All athletes are visually impaired, and wear eyeshades to allow athletes with varying degrees of vision to compete together. The Goalball arena is silent during play so that players can hear the ball, but spectators are free to cheer when a goal is scored.
Both the men’s and women’s tournaments begin with a round-robin group stage. The 12 men’s teams are divided into two groups of six teams, while the 10 women’s teams are divided into groups of five. The top four teams in each group qualify for the quarter-finals, from which point the tournaments are played in a knockout format.