Goalball is a sport for people with a vision impairment. It was invented in 1946 by Austrian, Hanz Lorenzen, and German Sepp Reindle, in an effort to help in the rehabilitation of blinded war veterans.
The game was introduced to the world in 1976 at the Paralympics in Toronto, Canada and has been played at every Paralympic since. As well every four years a World Championships has been held with the first being in Austria in 1978. Since that time the popularity of goalball has increased to where it is played competitively around the world.
Goalball competitions are unique to all other sports due to the required quiet atmosphere inside the playing venue.
The object of the sport is to roll the ball into the opposition's goal while the defensive team try to block the ball with their bodies. Bells inside the ball help to orientate the players by indicating the direction of the oncoming ball. In addition all court lines are done in raised, tactile markings. This allows players to orientate themselves and be aware of their position on the court.
Goalball is played by both males and females, and all athletes wear "blackout" eyeshades whilst on the playing court. This allows players with varying degrees of vision impairment to participate together
Goalball Australia is the governing body for the sport of Goalball in Australia and works with state goalball associations, Blind Sports Australia and the Australian Paralympic Committee to develop and grow the sport.