The Game

5-A-Side Football (Soccer) is a five player game with four B-1 athletes and a sighted goalie. The game lasts 50 minutes. The B-1 athletes are all blindfolded to make an even playing field. They play with a soccer ball that has bells enclosed in it so the athletes can hear it throughout the turf field. Communication between teammates and opponents is key. The game is modified for the visually impaired athletes. The coaches, goalies, and another sighted person are behind the goal helping to direct the athletes. View the video below to learn more about the game. 

History of Blind Soccer

Football for the blind started out as a playground game for individuals in schools for the visually impaired. It has now become one of the most popular sports for people with a visual impairment worldwide. A few countries, such as Spain and Brazil, set up national championships. Soon after countries began to organize the first friendly international matches.

Blind football – or futsal, as it is also known – became an official IBSA sport in 1996 when the federation decided to take the game on board. IBSA has two types of football – B1 for footballers who are completely blind, and B2/B3 for players who are partially sighted.

Blind football has become one of the biggest sports on the Paralympic Games, following its debut at Athens 2004. This sport was recognized at the London 2012 Paralympic Games when the number of teams taking part was increased from six to eight.

Blind football was one of the most popular sports at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where hosts Brazil won gold for the fourth time. At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games eight teams will compete for the title.

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