Blind Football: 5 Things To Know
Blind football, which is an adaptation of soccer for the visually impaired, will be featured at the upcoming Paralympic Games. Football fans may be amazed by the performances of blind or visually impaired players. While waiting to follow the Paralympic tournament, here are 5 things to know about this parasport discipline.
Blind football is soccer without sight.
For those unfamiliar with the sport, blind football is an adaptation of indoor soccer for visually impaired or blind individuals.
This para-sport is played by teams of 5: 4 outfield players and a sighted goalkeeper. The goalkeeper plays a crucial role as they also assist in guiding their teammates in the defensive zone.
During offensive plays, there is a guide behind the opposing goals providing auditory support to the attackers. Lastly, the ball is equipped with bells to help players track its location.
These various modifications enable blind or visually impaired individuals to pursue their passion for football. As not all players have the same level of visual impairment, they must wear a blackout mask on the field to ensure fairness in the game.
2- The French team is the European champion.
Even though this sport is still not widely known to the general public, the French blind football team was crowned European champions in 2022 and has qualified for the upcoming Paralympic Games.
The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will have a special flavor for these French athletes who will try to clinch the gold.
This home event will be an opportunity to raise awareness of their sport and to educate French viewers on the significance of sports in society.
3- The blind football matches will take place at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
Blind football is played on a special field measuring 40 meters by 20 meters. The pitch, smaller than a standard football field, is equivalent to a handball court. It is always set up in a quiet location because the players rely heavily on their hearing to orient themselves and locate the ball.
During the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, the matches will take place at the Champ de Mars, on a pitch installed at the foot of the Eiffel Tower with a capacity of 12,000 spectators.
If you are curious to discover this sport, do not hesitate to book tickets! Their price is much more affordable than for the Olympic Games events. The Paralympic tournament will feature 8 teams competing between August 30 and September 7, 2024.
The Paris 2024 Games will also be an opportunity to publicize this little-known sport and give it a significant spotlight on television.
This sport is extremely beneficial.
For practitioners of blind football, this sport is a true passion. As a team sport, it provides the same benefits as traditional football: it teaches players to better understand each other, to pass the ball, and to work as a team.
But that's not all! This discipline also develops independence, mobility, and self-confidence in visually impaired or blind individuals. On the field, players must move completely autonomously, running at full speed.
This sport enables players to develop skills that are then very useful in everyday life, to move around on the streets and to stay aware of everything happening around them.
5- This adapted sport is amazing.
It might seem hard to believe for sighted people, but blind football players run without seeing the field, pass the ball without seeing their teammates, and score goals without seeing the net.
To accomplish all these feats, they rely solely on their hearing. The ball used is a special one containing bells. The players also use a verbal code unique to them to signal their presence. That's why spectators must remain silent during the game... except of course after a goal!