What is Goalball?
Goalball is a 3-a-side indoor game of attack and defence designed for people who are blind and partially sighted. . Sighted people can also play as everyone wears eyeshades.
Goalball is an inclusive sport in that fully sighted players can also play domestically. This is because everybody is required to wear eyeshades so that nobody can see. Players therefore have to rely entirely on their other senses. The ball contains internal bells so players are able to track its movement by its sound, whilst the court is marked out with tactile lines so players can feel where they are. The idea of the game is quite simply to score goals by bowling the ball along the floor, past the opposing team.
At elite level the game is played over two halves of 12 minutes each according to the stop clock, so usually lasting for approximately 50 minutes. The court is the size of an indoor volleyball court (18m by 9m). Exclusive use of the sports hall is required because of the impact of noise.
The sport was originally devised in 1946 to help rehabilitate soldiers who had lost their sight during the war. It has been played throughout the world ever since, at the highest level, by people who are blind or partially sighted.
How can colleges get involved?
AoC Sport is working with Goalball UK to set up taster sessions as well as training up students on a number of Goalball UK courses, which you can view here. These opportunities will be exclusively offered to Inclusion Hub colleges and Inclusion Ambassadors in the first year. If you are interested in finding out more about the Inclusion Hub programme visit our webpage here
Colleges can set up their own teams (and take part in competitions), volunteer at their local club and/or at Goalball UK events and national competitions (e.g. Have a Go days, School Games, etc.), as well as deliver coaching and officiating qualifications.
How can students get involved outside of college?
There are playing, coaching, officiating and volunteering opportunities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Most community clubs charge subs of approximately £3 per session (plus an annual membership fee of approximately £20 per season). There are community clubs located across England, you can find your closest club by visiting Goalball UK’s website: