(#20) Goalball Retrieving At The Junior Blind Olympics – Part 2 (What Is Goalball?)

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Picking up from yesterday –

What’s Goalball?

All players wear googles which completely block everything out (for anyone playing who does have some sight). It’s 3 on 3. Each team guards a goal that is basically the length of the end of a basketball court.

The players do a mix of kneeling and standing. They mainly kneel. When you kneel, you can feel the tape out in front of you, so you know which direction is the correct way to be facing. Also, when you’re on the floor already, you can “superman” out – stretching your body out – so that you can try to cover as much area as possible to block any balls coming in.

How do you know when the ball is coming to you? You can hear it! There are bells inside the ball, and you rely on your hearing to get a sense of where it is. When you want a teammate to pass you the ball, you pound on the grounding front of you, making noise so they know where you are.

Once you have the ball, you have to roll it to the other side. My understanding is there’s a line in the middle of the court and it can’t be in the air (or to a certain height in the air) as it goes across that line, or else it’s called as a high ball.

I find it a little interesting that a game for blind people can only really be reffed by sighted people, because it’s sighted people who say whether it’s a high ball and whether a ball is out of bounds, whether a goal is counted – all that jazz.

I suppose maybe if you were incredibly skilled with your hearing, you might be able to hear that stuff. But we had sighted people working the game.

So, after you roll the ball across the court, you either score a goal or the team blocks it. Then they roll it back, and on and on. We played games for 5 minutes each. I don’t know how long Goalball matches usually are.

Whenever the ball is thrown out of bounds (which was kind of often), one of the ball retrievers (that was me) just drops it back in to one of the side players, and the game resumes.

It might not sound super face-paced with all this talk of rolling and such. But when a game really gets going, I thought it could be a bit exhilarating.

So, now that we know what Goalball is, let’s talk about the day tomorrow.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?