Sports Summary

Football (5-a-side) has been officially part of the Paralympic program since the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. The sport is played by athletes with vision impairment with five players on each side.

There are five players per team and each game lasts 50 minutes. Rules are the same as in able-bodied Football with certain modifications; the ball makes a noise when it moves, the goalkeepers may be sighted and act as guides during the game, the rest of the team uses eye shades to ensure fairness, there are five players on a team rather than 11, the field of play measurements are smaller and there is no offside rule. The game consists of two halves of 25 minutes each.

All team members except for the goalkeeper play with eye shades to ensure fairness and orientate themselves by listening to the ball, which makes noise when it moves. The goalkeeper may be sighted and act as a guide during the game. The field is smaller than regular football and there are no offside rulings.

The Football Subcommittee of the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) governs this sport, following modified rules of the International Federation of Associated Football (FIFA).

Events & Disciplines

Every Football match is played between two teams with four blind athletes and one sighted or visually impaired goalkeeper on the field as well as five substitutes. Additionally, each team has a guide behind the opponent’s goal to direct the players when they shoot.

A Football match lasts 50 minutes with two halves of 25 minutes each and a 10-minute half time in between. The winning team is the one that scores the most goals during a match.

A men’s eight team tournament is run at the Paralympic Games.

Rules & Equipment

The Ball
It is made of leather or special synthetic material, has a diameter of 70 cm and weighs 450 grams. It has an internal sound device so the athletes can hear it.

The athletes of a team are obliged to wear the same kit (uniform), which is comprised of a shirt, a pair of shorts and socks. The colours of the goalkeeper’s uniform must be different from those of his teammates, as well as from those of the referee and his assistant (linesman).

Shin Pads
Special protective pads made of plastic or another soft material, such as rubber or caoutchouc, which are placed inside the athlete’s socks, mainly to protect his shins.

Special shoes with studs on the soles, to help the athlete’s movement in the ground.

Goalkeeper’s gloves
Special gloves which help the goalkeeper in stopping the ball and preventing the scoring of a goal, while protecting his hands.

Blindfolds or mask
The athletes who are inside the field of play, with the exception of the goalkeeper, wear blindfolds or a mask to guarantee equality among the players.


International Blind Sports Association

International Paralympic Committee

For further information about this sport and how to get involved please contact the National or your State Federation below

Football Federation Australia

Capital Football

Football Northern Territory

Football Federation South Australia

Football Federation Tasmania

Football Federation Victoria

Football Federation Queensland

Football West

Northern NSW Football

Football New South Wales