Goalball is the Greatest Sport You've Never Heard Of

ByAmanda Brady Localish logo
Friday, June 14, 2024
Goalball is the Greatest Sport You've Never Heard Of
Goalball can be described as "a combination of soccer, dodgeball and bowling" and it's growing in popularity!

PHILADELPHIA -- Goalball, a sport that most people have never heard of, was created specifically for athletes with visual impairment.

"It was developed after World War 2," says goalball Paralympian Andrew Jenks. "(It was played by) a lot of veterans all over the world as a recreational rehabilitation tool for men who had gone blind."

While the game incorporates elements from well-known sports like soccer and bowling, it is not merely an adaptation; rather, the entire game is tailored for blind athletes.

The balls used in goalball have bells in them so players can hear them approaching, and there is rope under the tape on the court to help players feel their way around.

Additionally, since not every visually impaired athlete experiences blindness in the same way, all players must wear eye masks to completely nullify their vision.

The objective of the game is to score points by rolling or bouncing the ball into the opposing team's net, while the other team attempts to block the ball using their bodies.

"You're throwing yourself down onto the ground and having to run around," says Kassandra Hernandez, who has been playing the sport for 18 years. "It's a lot of up and down. It's a lot on your joints."

Since players cannot rely on their vision, sound becomes the most crucial sense in goalball.

For more information about goalball, visit The Blind Sports Organization's website: blindsports.org.

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