Goalball was introduced as a medal event at the Paralympic Games in Toronto in1976 after its success as a demonstration event at the 1972 Heidelberg Games. The sport was invented in 1946 by Austrian Hanz Lorenzen and German Sett Reindle as a way to rehabilitate post-WWII blind veterans. Now, the sport is played in 112 countries in all International Blind Sport Association (IBSA) regions.
Men's and women's teams compete in teams of three in this event. Unlike other team ball events, goalball is a unique ball game played only by the blind.
The ball makes noise when it's in motion so that the players can locate it audibly. For this reason, silence at events is vital. It is played on a court with tactile markings so that players can determine their location on the court and which direction that he/she is facing. All players wear eye masks to block out light and thus equalize visual impairment between the athletes. Players take turns throwing the ball, end to end, at each other's goal.
Paralympic goalball competition is open to male and female athletes who are blind/visually impaired.
E-mail your questions about goalball. Find a local program in your community - visit the Paralympic Resource Network.
For more information on goalball, visit:
United States Associaion of Blind Athletes (USABA)
The International Blind Sports Federation's (IBSA) goalball page