Goalball instructor shares rules, tips, and tricks at FBCs gymnasium during our Adaptive Sports Event.

Goalball at FBC

Sports play a big role in the physical and emotional development of many kids. For children who are visually impaired, having access to physical activities is vital in making sure they can not only stay active, but develop additional skills that will help them navigate the world without sight. Goalball is a sport that was created for people who are visually impaired, and it gives many people the chance to have fun, stay active, and be a part of a team.  

History of Goalball 

Goalball was designed by two veterans of World War II as a way to rehab soldiers who lost their sight in the war. As the popularity of the sport grew, the game became more fleshed out. Just thirty years after it was first created, it joined the Paralympic games as an official sport in 1976.  

Goalball instructor shares rules, tips, and tricks at FBCs gymnasium during our Adaptive Sports Event.

How Goalball is Played 

The game is played on an indoor court roughly the size of a volleyball court. Players are all required to wear eye shades to completely block their vision, so no player has any advantage of sight.  

A goalball is about the size of a basketball, but much heavier. Bells are placed inside the ball, so players can hear where it is at all times. The lines of the court are marked by tape laid across string, so all the lines can be felt by the players.  

Each team has three players who are tasked with protecting their end of the court. They must use their sense of hearing to determine where the ball is, it’s direction, and it’s speed. Players use their bodies to block the balls thrown by the other team.  

To score a goal, a player must roll or bounce the ball across the court and over the back line.  

The Importance of Goalball 

For Foundation for Blind Children staff member West Lee, Goalball is more than a sport. As a child who was visually impaired, he was always looking for physical activities that he could participate in. 

“Anything I could participate in was something I had to do,” said West. When he discovered goalball, he realized that, first of all, it was hard. It is a surprisingly high intensity sport. Players work hard, throwing their bodies around the court. It was exactly the physical exercise he was looking for.  

Another thing that comes with goalball is how it can build someone’s spatial   awareness. Every player wears the same eye shades, so they are forced to rely on their ears to hear the ball and other players. They use their sense of touch to feel the lines of the court to orientate themselves.  

West believes goalball can be an important tool to teach children who are visually impaired how to control their bodies and understand their surroundings. The game involves a lot of quick changes in direction, and players need to practice figuring out where they are, where they are going, and where they need to be.  

Goalball also provides an outlet. It offers a way for people who are visually impaired to get in some good exercise. It brings people together, making them work as a team. It’s also just fun for those who play it.  

Goalball instructor shares rules, tips, and tricks at FBCs gymnasium during our Adaptive Sports Event.
Goalball instructor shares rules, tips, and tricks at FBCs gymnasium during our Adaptive Sports Event.
A cable underneath tape is pictured - this is how markings are put on the goalball court.
Demonstration of throwing the goalball.

You can help!

Help support FBC’s Family Services, so we can continue making memories with our families. Please consider making a gift, and help our kids get ready for their next adventure.

Learn about ways to give and donate to FBC.Learn about ways to give and donate to FBC.