Football five-a-side is open to people who are classified B1, that is totally blind or with very little light perception. The goalkeeper is the only player that is fully sighted.
Yes, there are three different classifications in blind football:
- B1-Those who are fully blind.
- B2-Those with a visual impairment.
- B3-Those players with partial sight.
The rules are the same as able-bodied football with some slight modifications. The ball makes a noise when it moves so players know where it is, there are five players rather than eleven, the pitch is smaller (20m X 40m) and there is no off-side rule.
This ensures that all players are on a level playing field. You have players with varying degrees of blindness e.g. some light perception. Wearing blindfolds makes sure that these players don’t have an advantage over others, no matter how little that is!
Yes, there are many countries who have national club teams, there is European and World championships similar to mainstream football and the game has been a paralympic sport since 2004.
The pitch is surrounded by boards running the length of the pitch at both sides. This helps orientate players, increase player safety and the sound of the ball. In addition when a player goes to tackel the player on the ball, they must say the word “Voy”. It is the spanish for “I go” and failure to do so will result in a free kick.
Yes, the pitch is split into three segments, the goalkeeper doubles as the defensive coach and instructs players in the defensive third, the team coach usually instructs players in the middle third and finally behind each goal is an attacking coach who will guide and instruct the player when and where to shoot. Coaches can only instruct the players when they are in their respective segments.
No, supporters are asked to remain quiet unless a goal is scored or a shot is taken. This helps magnify any instructions from the coaches.
We are constantly working towards making B1 football accessible in Ireland. The best way to get involved is through contacting Warren on this website or Vision Sports Ireland will also point you in the right direction. Initially you may have to travel distances, our national training centre is in Dublin, but our paramount aim is to establish centres in strategic places to limit travel time. Then all you will need is your ambition!
Again, the best place to get information on training sessions is on this website, once you have made contact we will mail you directly regarding dates and you can also get updates about training through our Facebook and Twitter pages.
If there are any questions we failed to answer here, please get in touch and we can include the question!