Goalball is a sport exclusively for athletes who have a visual impairment. It was invented in 1946 in an effort to rehabilitate the blind veterans from World War II and made its Paralympic debut in 1976 in Toronto.
Goalball competitions are set apart from all other Paralympic events due to the unique atmosphere inside the playing venue. The object is to roll the ball into the opponent’s goal while the opposing players try to block the ball with their bodies.
Bells inside the ball help to orientate the players by indicating the direction of the oncoming ball. Therefore, while play is in progress, complete silence is required in the venue to allow the players to concentrate and react instantly to the ball.
Goalball is played by male and female athletes with a visual impairment and athletes wear ‘blackout’ masks on the playing court. This allows persons with varying degrees of vision to participate together. The game consists of two halves of 10 minutes each.