Monday, March 23, 2015

Goalball

Goalball is a team sport designed for blind athletes. It was devised by Hanz Lorenzen (Austria), and Sepp Reindle (Germany), in 1946 in an effort to help in the rehabilitation of visually impaired World War II veterans. The International Blind Sports Federation, responsible for fifteen sports for the blind and partially sighted in total, is the governing body for this sport.

The sport evolved into a competitive game over the next few decades and was a demonstration event at the 1976 Summer Paralympics in Toronto. The sport's first world championship was held in Austria in 1978 and goalball became a full part of the Paralympics from the 1980 Summer Paralympics in Arnhem onwards.

Participants compete in teams of three, and try to throw a ball that has bells embedded in it into the opponents' goal. Teams alternate throwing or rolling the ball from one end of the playing area to the other, and players remain in the area of their own goal in both defence and attack. Players must use the sound of the bell to judge the position and movement of the ball. Games consist of two 12 minute halves (formerly 10 minute halves). Blindfolds allow partially sighted players to compete on an equal footing with blind players.

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