It is a sport created for people with visual impairment, where two teams of three players each participate. Competitors who have to throw the ball towards the other team's goal, while their opponents try to block the ball with the full extension of their body.

It is a sport that stimulates the senses. Each line of the court is taped to allow players to orientate themselves through touch. The ball has 2 internal bells, so the auditory sense is a key skill to detect its trajectory. Competitors play wearing goggles that fully block eyesight, therefore, the silence of the public is essential during the development of the match so as not to interfere with the perception of the trajectory of the ball. It is a sport that demands strength, precision, and speed of reaction since players only have 10 seconds to throw the ball into the opposite goal. The high degree of technical skill and collective tactics of the players is applied in split-second making Goalball a spectacular sport.

Sports classification

The discipline is disputed by athletes with visual impairment, who have low or no vision caused by damage to the structure of the eye, optic nerve, optic pathways, or visual cortex of the brain. There are three sports classes according to the following detail:

B1, with very low or no visual acuity, as well as low or no light perception;

B2, who have greater visual acuity than athletes competing in class B1, and/or visual field less than 5 degrees in diameter, and

B3, with more clarity of vision than B2 athletes and/or visual field less than 20 degrees in diameter.

Players wear eye patches and over them goggles, which they are not allowed to touch unless authorized by the head referee.


Goalball was created in 1946 as a rehabilitation activity for veterans returning blind from World War II. Given its precision nature, it gradually evolved into a competition during the 1950s and 1960s.

It was nominated as a demonstration sport at the 1972 Summer Paralympics in Heidelberg, Germany, and was included in the men's teams at the 1976 Paralympics in Toronto. The women's debut was at the 1984 Paralympic Games in New York City, with the United States men's and women's teams winning this version of the Games.

In the Parapan American Games it debuted at the 2011 Guadalajara Games. The historical medal table is led by Brazil with three gold medals in the women's branch and two gold medals in the men's branch.

In Santiago 2023, the participation of the women's branch will rise to eight teams. This approval equalizes the female and male quota, and with this it seeks to increase the competition of women at the regional level.

How do you compete?

Goalball is played exclusively by Para athletes with visual impairments, who throw a ball that weighs 1,250 kg.

The objective is to score a goal, throwing the ball over the floor to break the opponent's defense. Players, to defend their goal, must extend their arms and legs in order to block shots and then resume the offense.

Teams are made up of three players on the court and three players on the bench. Four time outs are available so that the coach can enter and give instructions. They are not allowed to give any other instructions to their players during the game and must remain silent.

More Less


Who competes in goalball?

Check answer

Information for the community

Goalball, at the national level, is governed by the FENADDIVI Federation which, together with the Chilean Paralympic Committee, coordinates and carries out the National League. Competition is divided by geographical zones: north, center and south.

Go back to para sports