Goalball is a team sport designed for the visually impaired. Introduced in 1946, the game was devised by Austrian Hanz Lorenzen and German Sepp Reindle in an effort to rehabilitate World War II veterans.
The game is played in teams of 3. Athletes attempt to score by rolling a ball equipped with bells into the opposing team’s goal. The sound of the bells attached to the ball guide defenders who use their bodies to block against these shots.
All athletes (full blind and partially sighted) are required to wear eyeshades and eye patches to ensure a level playing field.
Visually impaired and partially sighted athletes who meet the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) classification guidelines are eligible to compete.
A game will last for 24 minutes, divided into 2 halves of 12 minutes each. There are 3 field players in each team, and 3 substitute players are allowed. While play is in progress, complete silence is necessary to allow the players to instantly react to the ball. An audible warning is given 5 minutes before the start of the game and 30 seconds before the start of the first and second halves.