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Cerebral Palsy Football

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Infographics - Cerebral Palsy FootballEver since 1984, Football 7-a-side has been part of the Paralympic Games. It is a sport for those with cerebral palsy, and is similar to football for able-bodied players with a few modifications. There are seven players, instead of 11, and the measurements of the playing field are smaller.


Since Cerebral Palsy Football is a team sport, classification is crucial to ensure fairness with regards to the impact of impairment between both teams. The athletes are allocated into one for the four sport classes, as listed below:

Sport Class CP5

  • Lack of lower limb control which results in difficulty in running, turning, and stopping
  • Hypertonia or spasticity in both lower limbs and to some degree in both upper limbs

Sport Class CP6

  • Coordination and balance problems in four limbs and trunk
  • Difficulties in dribbling the ball when running, acceleration and stopping

Sport Class CP7

  • One side of body is affected, causing them to walk and run with a limp

Sport Class CP8

  • Uncontrollable muscle contractions and hesitation before explosive movements

Tournament Rules

In each team, 4 to 7 players are allowed to play at a time, including the goalkeeper. The game consists of two halves of 30 minutes, each with 15 minutes of break. At least 1 player with C5 or C6 classification must play in the game for each team. Otherwise, the number of players allowed to participate shall be reduced to 6. The maximum number of players with C8 classification allowed to participate in a game is 1 for each team. The throw-in player is allowed to roll the ball to the field and the ball must touch the ground as soon as it is thrown by the hand. There is no offside rule.

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