Play Goalball @ The Center

February 26th, 2013
NEW: Play Goalball and meet with the National Federation for the Blind on the first Monday of every month from 5:00 – 7:00 in the Gym

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So What IS Goalball, You May Ask?

Goalball is a highly competitive sport played three-against-three, indoors on a gym floor–primarily by blind and visually impaired athletes. It’s played from the local school-gym level on up to the Paralympic, ‘Team USA’ level Internationally.

Games are usually quite competitive and exciting to watch — even on a local level. There are two teams playing against each other, with one on each end of the 60  x40 foot court. All players are blindfolded to make the game fair. This is due to varying levels of sight among players. Some are legally-blind, some are totally blind. The blindfolds ensure equality among players.

The object is to roll a three-pound Goalball, which is sort of like a heavy basketball, past the opposing team without them stopping it. It’s their job to block that ball at all costs.

Now you may be asking yourself, “how do the players keep track of the ball if they’re blind?” The ball has bells in it — sounding a lot like Christmas “jingle bells” — that allow the players to listen for it. When they hear the ball coming towards their end of the court, they dive, usually head-first, towards it hoping to block it with their body and stop it. They often slide back and forth on the floor, using their bodies to block the oncoming ball. If all three players miss the ball and it goes past them or over them and then over the back line, it is considered a goal. The team with the most goals at the end of two 10-minute halves, wins the game. There are usually several games in a typical tournament.

The players use cord or thin rope taped to the floor, or other similar tactile markings, to orientate themselves as to where they are on the court.

Q/A: Contact Margie Crossno, Program Coordinator, 918-7944510 or mcrossno@tulsacenter.org