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Introduction

Goal ball is a highly competitive sport played three-against-three, indoors on a gym floor--primarily by blind and visually impaired athletes.

Games are usually quite competitive and exciting to watch. Two teams play on either end of the 60x40 foot court. Players are blindfolded to make the game fair. The object is to throw a three-pound Goal ball, which is sort of like a heavy basketball, past the opposing team.

Now you may be asking yourself, "how do the players keep track of the ball if they're blind?" The ball has bells in it... sounding a lot like Christmas "jingle bells..." that allow the players to listen for it. When they hear the ball coming towards their end of the court, they dive, usually head-first, towards it hoping to block it with their body and stop it. If all three players miss the ball and it goes past the back line, it is considered a goal. The team with the most goals wins the game.

History

Goal ball was invented in 1946 by Austrian, Hanz Lorenzen, and German Sepp Reindle, in an effort to help in the rehabilitation of blinded war veterans.

The game was introduced to the world in 1976 at the Paralympics in Toronto, Canada and has been played at every Paralympic since. As well every four years a World Competitions has been held with the first being in Austria in 1978. Since that time the popularity of goal ball has increased to where it is played competitively in all IBSA regions.


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