team sport designed for athletes with vision impairment

Goalball is a sport for people who are blind, meaning they cannot see. It is played by men and women. Each team has six people on it. Three people play on each team at one time.[1] A team throws the ball at a goal behind the people on the other team. They get a point if the ball goes in the goal. The ball has a bell in it. Players cannot see the ball, but they can hear the bell. They use their body to stop the ball. It is governed by the International Blind Sports Federation, and it is a sport in the Paralympic Games.

Two teams playing goalball. Each team has three people on it.
Players from the United States (left) and Sweden (right) playing goalball at the 2012 Summer Paralympics
Two goalball players stretch to the left to stop the ball.
Goalballer Sarah Kennedy (Qld) makes a save for Australia at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games
A goalballer throws the ball forward.
Goalballer Raelene Bock (NSW) competes for Australia at the 1996 Summer Paralympics

Goalball players wear blindfolds. This is because some players can not see at all (they are totally blind), and some other players can still see a little bit. When players wear blindfolds, none of the players can see anything. This makes it fair for all the players.[2]



Goalball was invented in 1946 by Hanz Lorenzen and Sepp Reindle. They invented it to help veterans who became blind because of World War II.[3]

Goalball was first played as part of the Paralympic Games during the 1976 Summer Paralympics.[4] At first, only men played goalball in the Paralympics. Women first played goalball in the Paralympics at the 1984 Summer Paralympics.[1]

In 1978, the first goalball championships were held in Vöcklamarkt, Austria.[3][1]

People who cannot see who can play goalball

Seeing types
Type What
B1 completely unable to see
B2 used-in-seeing acuity of less than 2/60
B3 used-in-seeing acuity of 2/60 to 6/60


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Goalball - About". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  2. "Goalball". BBC. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "History - IBSA Goalball". International Blind Sports Federation. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  4. "Goalball - Paralympic Athletes, Photos & Events". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 2022-04-21.