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Blind trust: Inclusion and team spirit in goalball

A person defends a goal from a blue ball by using his body.

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A person defends a goal from a blue ball by using his body.

Blind trust: Inclusion and team spirit in goalball

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A person defends a goal from a blue ball by using his body.

The sport that won't make you lose your hearing, but will definitely make you lose your sight! And in the truest sense of the word, because in the discipline we're talking about today, all participants see the same amount: namely nothing at all. It's about goalball. What is that? Some of you may be wondering. Goalball is a Paralympic ball sport that has gained more and more attention in recent years. 

 

And for good reason, because this sport transcends borders and has some interesting features that set it apart from other disciplines. The best thing about it is that everyone can take part! With or without visual impairment.

Blindfolded towards inclusion

Goalball differs from from many other sports in the following way: It is played blind. All players wear so-called dark glasses, which make it impossible. This ensures equal opportunities and ensures that all people, regardless of whether they have a visual impairment or visual impairment, together compete can.

 

At Paralympic level, of course, only people with visual impairments are allowed to take part. At first glance the sport unfamiliar for many seembut behind the sounds and movements on the pitch a world of tactics, teamwork and unique skills.

The playing field

A goalball game is played in a sports hall on a special pitch. The pitch measures 18 meters in length and 9 meters in width. There are a total oft two goalswhich across the entire width of the field erstretch.

Playing blind - but how?

At first glance, it looks similar to other indoor sports, but the tactile markings on the floor are unique. They allow the players to orient themselves on the pitch, as they have to rely rely solely on their sense of touch and hearing. Each team consists of three players on the field, all of whom wear opaque eye masks to ensure equality of opportunity.

 

The ballthat is played with is fitted with little bellsso that the players can hear its position. This combination of sounds and tactile cues makes the game an intense sensory experience and therefore particularly exciting. The aim is to get the ball into the opponent's goal while the defending team tries to block the ball with their body.

 

Coordination within the team and the ability to communicate precisely are crucial. A successful team must be able to throw the ball as quickly and unexpectedly as possible in order to overcome the opponent's defense.

A brief history

The origins of the sport go way back to 1946. The Austrians Hanz Lorenzen and Sepp Reindle developed the game to support blind war veterans in their rehabilitation. Since then, Goalball has continued to develop and has even been an integral part of the Paralympic Games since 1976. This development not only shows the increasing popularity of the sport, but also the recognition and respect it enjoys in the world of Paralympic sport.

 

 

Goalball is unique because it is not only about physical strength, but above all about the coordination of the senses. The sport offers people with visual impairments and limitations the opportunity to engage in physical activity and perform at their best in a competitive environment. Inclusion is practiced here and impressively demonstrates that sporting activity knows no boundaries.

 

For anyone looking for an inspiring and intense sport, Goalball is definitely worth a look. It's not just a game, but a celebration of skills, team spirit and unlimited possibilities. By the way: you can even experience Goalball live at the highest professional level this year, as the Paralympic Games are taking place in Paris this year!

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