What is Blind Football?
There are two versions of football for people with visual impairments:
- Blind football: Only B1 classified players can compete (totally or almost totally blind athletes)
- Partially sighted football: B2 and B3 classified players can compete (athletes with some sight)
While the core game remains the same as sighted football, there are a few alterations to make football accessible to people with visual impairments.
Partially sighted football
- Uses a smaller, size 4 football
- Played on an indoor pitch
- 5 partially sighted players per team
- 5 players per team
- 4 blind, outfield players and 1 sighted goalkeeper
- Ball bearings placed in the ball and make a noise when moving to allow players to locate the ball
- Partially sighted football (in the Partially Sighted Football League)
- Health benefits of exercise and involvement in a sport
- Increase the awareness of the abilities of players who have lost their sight from birth or acquired it after
- Psycho-social health benefits with increased positivity, self-confidence and morale
There are blind and partially sighted clubs competing in leagues and cups throughout the country. The National Blind Football League (for totally or almost totally blind people) is run by the FA, while British Blind Sport organise the Partially Sighted Football League.
- Shades are worn to equilise the sight of all outfield players.
- A ball with a bell inside to emit a sound that helps orientate the outfield players.
- 5-a-side football in itself is nothing new, but the Paralympic edition only came around in Athens 2004.
- The rules may vary from regular football, but the champions do not. Brazil won in 2004 and 2008, with Argentina taking silver and bronze.