About NSW Goalball
What is Goalball?
Goalball is the exciting team sport played competitively by athletes with vision impairment. The sport was created in 1946 after World War II by Austrian, Hanz Lorenzen, and German, Sepp Reindle, in an effort to rehabilitate and keep veterans with blindness and low vision active. Shortly after the sport originated in Europe, Goalball was inaugurated to the world stage during the 1976 Paralympics in Toronto, Canada and has been showcased at the event following its inaguration. The sport has now been announced as a 2024 Paralympic sport for Paris. Goalball is the original team sport for blind and low vision athletes in the Paralympic Games.
Goalball's distinctive competition atmosphere sets it apart from any other sporting experience. The games are required to be kept silent as 3 players on each team, who are completely blindfolded by "blackout" eyeshades, use their entire body to block a 1.25kg audible ball from making it into the opponents goal. Each goal is 1.3 metres in height and span the entireity of the back court - think of it as the opposite of Dodgeball. This intense game allows players of all degrees of vision to participate at an equal level together. Players are then able to orientate themselves to the 18 x 9 metre court through tactile line markings. Players must react instantly to the sound of the bells inside the ball that help the players distinguish where the opposition has thrown it from. The duration of a Goalball game lasts for two 12 minute halves with a 3 minute half time break, with the average game lasting around 50 minutes.
From Goalball's introduction to modern day time, Australia has the largest Goalball 4 Schools program in the world. Over 4,500 students across 150 schools currently play goalball as an adapted and inclusive Paralympic Sport.