paralympics
Goalball

John Kusku, Tyler Merren and Joseph Hamilton of the US in action during Goalball at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)

What's it all about?

Have you ever heard of a sport that was invented for injured soldiers returning from the war? All the athletes wear eyeshades, the ball has bells in it and players can only see by sound and touch! We’re talking goalball and you should definitely check out a match!

How it's played

Things to watch for

a goalball player is on their hands and knees and touching the raised lines on the ground to figure out where they are
Aysa Miller of USA uses her hands to feel the lines to find her place on the court at the Japan Para Goalball Championship, 2019. (Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
Seeing by touch
  • Athletes know where they are by touching the raised lines on the court. 
  • The raised lines are made of tape placed over cords.
a goalball player in front of the net rolls the ball towards the other team
Akiko Adachi of Japan throws the ball in the women's Goalball at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. (Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
Seeing by sound
  • The ball has eight holes in it. 
  • The holes help the sound of the bells inside get louder when the ball is bounced or rolled.
a goalball player throws their entire body onto the ball to block it
Amanda Dennis of USA blocks the ball at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, 2016. (Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
Full body sport
  • The balls can reach speeds of up to 60 kilometres an hour — that's really fast!
  • Players actually throw their bodies in front of them to stop the balls from getting into the net.