- The games
- Organising Committee
- Rio de Janeiro
- Take part
Two teams, two goalposts, and one ball. For the Brazilian team, that is sufficient to make the party. At the Paralympic Games, the Goalball competition is silent during the match so that the athletes, who play with blindfolds, can hear the bell sound inside the rolling ball. When a goal is scored, however, the sound of the fans cheer is like the one you can her at Maracanã.
A combination of Handball with Football – players can make defences using any part of the body, but can only attack with the hands –, matches take place in a court with similar dimensions of Volleyball’s (check out the rules). It is a blend of the most favourite sports of Rio 2016™ Games hosts.
“Goalball is a sport with no Olympic counterpart. Promoting it to Physical Education professionals at events such as the Paralympic Games is very important, because they can get to know it better and encourage its practice. Disputing these Games at home will bring a lot of recognition. This is for sure. These events are multipliers”, says Márcio Morato, women’s and men’s Brazilian national team coordinator until 2010.
In team of three players, the objective is to roll the ball into the opponent court and make it pass the three “goal keepers”. The goal is 9m wide and 1.3m high. The ball has almost the same size of Basketball’s. Two halves of ten minutes each are disputed.
At the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, China team was the men’s winner in an unforgettable victory over Lithuania in the final (9 x 8), scoring a goal at the last moments. Sweden completed the podium. In the women’s, the USA defeated China in the final (6 x 5) at another historical duel. Denmark won the bronze medal.
“United States, Canada and China are one step ahead in the women’s championship. In the men’s, North America and China are also strong opponents, but we can highlight European countries such as Lithuania, Sweden and Denmark, with great tradition in the sport, and also Slovenia. Iran is also giving good results. Brazil is at an ascendant curve. It is able to compete with the great powers of the sport as equals, mainly the women’s team”, Morato analyses.
For the Rio 2016™ Paralympic Games, everyone expects the host country team to be a hard opponent to the powers of the sport. Disputed at Hall 4 of the Olympic Centre, Goalball promises to crowd the arena and thrill the fans in yellow and green.
“After Beijing 2008, when we got together, we started to think about 2016. One year later, Rio’s bid victory was announced. We have a project of winning medals at our home Games. We want to be at the podium”, concludes de Brazilian coordinator.