We would like to congratulate the Swedish Goalball team for their tremendous efforts during this summer’s Under-19 World Championships in Hungary.
After a heavy defeat to Brazil in the quarter-finals, a victory over South Korea led to a seventh place finish in the tournament. Even though the team would have liked to have gone further, it must be said that they are among the best in the world!
The team as a whole were solid both defensively and in attack and all the players got on the scoresheet. We now look forward with excitement to the Under-21 European Championships in Italy in October.
What is Goalball:
A Goalball match is played between two teams, each with three players on the pitch. Each team’s goal is 9 metres wide and 1.3 metres high. In other words, the goal fills the whole of the short side of the pitch. Players stay on their own side and in front of their own goal during the game. The ball is similar to a basketball that has not been inflated and is fitted with a small bell. This is because all the players are blindfolded and must therefore be able to hear exactly where the ball is.
Briefly, the game is about shooting and defending. The ball is rolled along the ground by one team. When the other team hear the ball, they must try to block it by throwing themselves flat on the ground. If the ball gets past all three players on a team and goes over the goal line, it counts as a goal. However, if the team manages to block the ball, they must quickly pass the ball to one another and then shoot it back.
The lines on the 18-metre long pitch are taped so the players can quickly and easily orientate themselves without the aid of their sight. Each player has a specific task. Each team has a centre and two backs. Goalball is a fast game. The hardest shots reach a speed of over 85 km per hour. So you have to stay alert and be tough. Goalball has been an official Paralympic sport since 1980.