What is goalball?

Goalball is an exciting team sport designed for athletes with vision impairment, however sighted athletes can play also.

It was created to help rehabilitate veterans at the end of WW2 and has been a Paralympic Sport in 1976.

While sometimes described as reverse-dodgeball or similar to European Handball, goalball is its own unique sport. 

The three players on each team aim to:

 Score in their opponent’s goal by throwing the ball

 Use their bodies to block the ball from entering their own goal

Unique aspects of goalball include:

 Each player is blindfolded with “blackout” eyeshades, meaning they cannot see anything

 The balls, which can weigh over 1kg, contain bells inside which allows players to hear where it is coming from

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Get Involved

While Goalball is an official sport at the Paralympics, it is available to all people of all abilities. 

Utilising a unique 'reverse inclusion' model NSW Goalball have a number of educational programs designed to:

 Promote disability awareness and inclusivity

 Nurture empathy

 Enhance team work and communication skills

 Develop physical literacy 

For more than a decade, NSW Goalball have been delivering unparalleled programs for schools, teams and businesses.

Learn more

Playing Goalball has boosted my confidence in myself; made me feel included; part of a team; as well as improved my physical health, helping me to become more active.

- Daniel, Goalball 4 Schools participant and NSW Goalball Member

Frequently asked questions

Goalball is a team sport designed for the blind and vision impaired, however, sighted athletes can also play.

The object of the game is to roll the ball into the opponent’s goal while the opposing players try to block the ball with their bodies.

The unique challenge is that all athletes are completely blindfolded! Bells inside the ball help orientate the players by indicating the direction of the oncoming ball.

Short answer- anyone!

When played on the international stage (for instance, at the Paralympics) goalball is reserved for athletes with a vision impairment. 

However, at NSW Goalball anyone is welcome to join our training sessions, competitions and event state championships. We cater to athletes of all ages and abilities. 

For teachers looking to teach goalball at schools- we have lesson programs suitable from K-12.

2 teams of 3 players each face off on a volleyball-like court.

They are completely blindfolded ensuring no one can see anything.

Players take turns hurling an audible ball filled with bells at the other team’s goal.

Defenders must listen for the sound of the bells and dive in front of the ball to prevent the other team from scoring.

Goalball is a perfect game for anyone

In fact, we call it 'the great equaliser' because it can be enjoyed equally by sighted and vision athletes alike. 

As well as developing physical literacy, teamwork and communication skills we have evidence that goalball programs increase empathy, disability awareness and a sense of inclusivity. 

Our school programs are easily tailored to students of all ages and abilities. 

Our corporate programs offer a unique team-building experience. 

Our member training and competitions deliver a welcoming environment for individuals, friends and families. 

Goalball is the PERFECT program for school students. Proven benefits include:

  • developing physical literacy
  • advancing teamwork & communication skills
  • building empathy and inclusivity

NSW Goalball has delivered programs to tens of thousands of students across NSW through our Goalball 4 Schools program

Teachers can also utilise our coaching resources to deliver programs themselves. 


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