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Paralympic Games Spotlight: Goalball

The Paralympic Games officially start this week in Toyko and we wanted to highlight some of these amazing sports for you and your little ones!

Today we are going to talk about the fascinating sport of Goalball! It is a team sport specifically designed for athletes with a vision impairment. In teams of three, they have to try and throw a ball around that has bells in it, into the opponents goal! It can only be thrown by hand and never kicked. Everyone must wear eyeshades or eye patches so that partially sighted players can be on an equal footing with blind players too!

The game is played indoors and any spectators must remain silent throughout, so the players can hear the ball. How exciting does that sound? 

Unlike most games, there are more referees and officials than there are players. There are two referees, FOUR goal judges, two ten-second timer referees (calling 10 second penalties if needed!), a scorer and a game/back up timer official. 

In 2021, goalball is celebrating 75 years since it was invented! Austrian Hans Lorenzen and German Sepp Reindle came up with the concept of the game in 1946 as a way of rehabilitating blinded World War II veterans. Wow!

Find out more information about Goalball here. Also, check out the sporting heroes from Goalball here including Amanda Dennis from the USA who blocked an INCREDIBLE 40 shots from Brazil in the bronze match back in Rio in 2016. Check out our other blog on Wheelchair Rugby here and best of luck to these amazing athletes from everyone at Banjo HQ!

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