Sports Summary

Football five-a-side has been a Paralympic sport since the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.

Football five-a-side is played between two teams with four players who are blind, as well as one sighted or visually impaired goalkeeper. Additionally, each team has a guide behind the opponent’s goal to direct the players when they shoot.

The rules are similar to the FIFA Futsal game except there are five players per side, the field of play is smaller, all team members except the goalkeeper play with eyeshades, the ball makes a noise when it moves and there is no offside rule.

For more information on Football five-a-side Eligibility and How to Get Involved please see the Football five-a-side Information Sheet (PDF – 99KB) – updated August 2021.

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.

Classification

Football five-a-side is open to athletes with a vision impairment. Athletes are required to submit medical reports and meet the minimum impairment criteria in order to compete. Eligibility is determined by trained Classifiers.

For more information on Eligible Impairments and Classification please see the Football five-a-side Information Sheet (PDF – 99KB) – updated August 2021.

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.

Clothing

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.

Shoes

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.

Links

International Blind Sports Association

International Paralympic Committee

Contacts

We encourage those wishing to explore football five-a-side to contact their state federation in the first instance. The national federation link below provides information on the national high performance program leading to competing internationally and at the Paralympic Games.

National Federation
 OrganisationWebsite
 Football AustraliaFootballAustralia.com.au
 Australian Blind Footballausblindfootball.com.au
State Federations
StateOrganisationWebsite
ACTCapital Footballcapitalfootball.com.au
NSWFootball NSWfootballnsw.com.au
Northern NSW Footballnorthernnswfootball.com.au
NTFootball NTfootballnt.com.au
QLDFootball QLDfootballqueensland.com.au
SAFootball Federation SAffsa.com.au
TASFootball TASfootballfedtas.com.au
VICFootball VICfootballvictoria.com.au
Football Westfootballwest.com.au