Where we practice
242 Main Street, West Orange, NJ
Goalball was devised in 1946 in an effort to rehabilitate visually impaired veterans who returned from World War II. In 1976, it was then introduced to the world at the Paralympic Games in Toronto.
The sport, exclusively for athletes with visual impairments, consists of two halves of 12 minutes each and athletes wear blackout masks on a playing court.
The object of the game is to roll the ball into the opposite goal while opposing players try to block the ball with their bodies. Bells inside the balls help orient the players, indicating the direction of the on-coming ball. Therefore, while play is in progress, complete silence is required in the venue to allow the players to instantly react to the ball.
What is Goalball?
Goalball is a Paralympic sport played by athletes who are blind and visually impaired. Developed after WWII as a way to keep blinded veterans physically active, it has become the premiere team game for blind athletes. Played competitively by men and women around the world, it is a very fast paced, physically challenging, strategic and exciting game.
How Do You Play?
In goalball, two teams of three players each face each other across a court that is nine meters wide and 18 meters long. The object of the game is to roll a basketball size ball with bells inside over the opponent's goal line. Your opponents listen for the oncoming ball and attempt to block it with their bodies. Once they are able to stop the ball and take control of it, they become the offensive team. Complete rules are available at http://www.ibsa.es.
The Court and Rules
The player's zone is marked at either end of the court by taping a heavy string down to the court for the players to feel with their hands or feet. The player's zone is 3 meters deep and extends the width of the court. Each players zone has three orientation lines which the players use to line themselves up with and maintain their orientation to the court. Three meters in front of the player's zone, is the overthrow line. The goalball must touch the floor at least once before crossing this line or a penalty is assessed. Other common penalties are for holding the ball too long, one player throwing too much and touching the eyeshade. When a penalty occurs, the guilty player must defend the entire court by himself. The game consists of two 12-minute halves and takes about an hour to play an entire game.
The defensive team usually sets up a zone defensive. The player in the middle of the court is called the center. The center is the primary defensive player. He or she plays at the front of the player's zone and defends a majority of the court. The players to the right and left of the center are called wings. The wings are usually the primary offensive or throwing players. Defensively they play behind and to the left and right of the center defending their respective areas. During the game, the center will usually stop the ball and pass it to a wing. While the wing is throwing the ball, the center will reorient themselves to the center of the court. Knowing that a thrower is slow to return to his defensive position, or that a player might not be in his defensive position, many teams will attempt a "quick throw" hoping to catch their opponent out of position. Curve balls, off speed balls and various other balls are sometimes thrown hoping to confuse the other team. Players may quietly change wing positions with the ball hoping to surprise the defending team by throwing from a different area.