Goalball History

Goalball was invented in Germany after Second World War’s All are equal in the sightless world of goalball Goalball was invented in 1946 by Austrian, Hanz Lorenzen, and German Sepp Reindle, in an effort to help in the rehabilitation of blinded war veterans. Initially its name was Rollerball Rollerball therefore, was invented look like a need rehabilitation aimed to everyone was involved in the conflict and explosions have caused their visuall impairment In particular Rollerball was born in Marburg, in many institutes for blind. Originally founded as a “ball of tin”, such that they should make noise, within the German institutes and begins to take place in Europe around the sixties. During this period the name of this sport becomes Goalball.

The sport was played with a very heavy ball, weighing about two kg. and with an hard impact, consisting of a very thick plastic with a thickness about one cm. , very different from the current feature balls, much more flexible and deformable to modestly violent impact. In Italy this sport is imported in the late sixties, in Trentino Region’s, that is near to Germany.

The proponent of import of this sport was the Bolzano Blind Sporting Group’s, who began the practice of this sport and favored the knowledge and dissemination in the rest of Italy. Even in this case the Goalball was played in the Bolzano Blind School Institute’s as do any other sport, is almost always in the school that the interest and promotion born’s.

Followed also Padova Configliachi Sporting Group’s, in the school, begans to practice Goalball; then comes to Rome and Modena. In the late seventies the Italian Blind Union signed an agreement with the Italian Sports Center, giving rise to that body, which later will became the Italian Blind Sports Federation. In this context, the sport quickly took place in all over Italy Regions. Until 1988 the features of the game, then laid down in Regulation (field size, characteristics of the ball, etc..) Remain unchanged.

This sport was presented to world public opinion on 1976 during the Paralympic Games held in Toronto, Canada. Then there was the first World Championships, held in Austria on 1978. Since then the popularity of the discipline of Goalball has increased to be practiced in all countries belonging all’IBSA.

After the Seoul Paralympics Games of 1988, the IBSA Commission provides variants of the game, defining the general characteristics that have remained in force until 2001: the ball sound becomes the weight of 1,250 kg, more subtle, with the same structure does not more plastic, but of rubber, then even softer impact. Since then, every four Olimpic years are made small changes to the regulations, without which the general features are distorted.


  • To score the greatest number of goals by rolling the ball past the opposing team’s goal line into the opposing team’s net.


  • Team
  • Male, Female


  • Indoor court: 18 m long by 9 m wide (same size as a volleyball court).
  • The boundaries for the different areas (Team Area, Landing Area and Neutral Area) are marked off with several layers of tape (or tape over string) so that they can be felt by the players.


  • Goalball: hollow rubber ball with bells inside and eight holes to allow the bells to be heard; slightly larger than a basketball, typically blue in colour; 1.25 kg
  • Goal nets: span the width of the court (9 m); 1.3 m high; rounded in shape
  • Blackout masks: each athlete must wear a blackout mask at all times during the game
  • Knee and elbow pads


  • Each team has up to six players, with a maximum of three players (one Center and two Wingers) on the court at any one time.
  • Athletes compete in two 10-minute halves with a three-minute half-time break.
  • The team throwing must roll the ball along the floor towards the defending team’s net. Many players throw the ball like they would a discus or a bowling ball.
  • The team throwing has 10 seconds to throw the ball towards the opposing team’s net. If the throwing team is in possession of the ball for longer than 10 seconds, they will incur a penalty.
  • A thrown ball must touch the floor of the court on the throwing team’s side before passing over the centre line.
  • No team member may take more than two consecutive throws for his or her team.
  • The defending team members attempt to block the passage of the ball by lunging sideways with their bodies. Players must stay in the Team Area when defending.
  • A goal is scored when the ball passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar of the goal net.
  • The winning team is the one which scores the most goals at the end of regulation time. If the game is tied at the end of regulation time, two additional three-minute overtime halves are played. The first team to score during the overtime play will be the winner. If the game is still tied at the end of overtime, extra throws will determine the winner.


  • Goalball is open to athletes with visual impairments only.
  • Athletes in the following classes participate in Goalball:
    • B1: Athletes with no light perception in either eye to athletes with light perception but no ability to recognise the shape of a hand at any distance or in any direction.
    • B2: Athletes with the ability to recognise the shape of a hand to athletes with a visual acuity of 2/60 and/or visual field of less than 5 degrees.
    • B3: Athletes with a visual acuity above 2/60 to athletes with a visual acuity of 6/60 and/or visual field of more than 5 degrees and less than 20 degrees.


  • As Goalball was designed as a disabled sport, rather than a modification of an existing sport, there are no modifications.

Governing Bodies: