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Sport A-Z: Goalball

Goalball was devised in 1946 in an effort to rehabilitate visually impaired veterans who returned from World War II. In 1976, it was then introduced to the world at the Paralympic Games in Toronto.

The sport, exclusively for athletes with visual impairments, consists of two halves of 12 minutes each and athletes wear blackout masks on a playing court.

The object of the game is to roll the ball into the opposite goal while opposing players try to block the ball with their bodies. Bells inside the balls help orient the players, indicating the direction of the on-coming ball. Therefore, while play is in progress, complete silence is required in the venue to allow the players to instantly react to the ball.


The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to develop sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality. For further information, please visit http://www.paralympic.org.

To watch videos on demand from Paralympic Games and to subscribe to ParalympicSport.TV, please go to www.youtube.com/ParalympicSportTV. Also, you may follow the Paralympic Movement on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ParalympicGames or on
Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/paralympic.