Friday, May 29, 2009

Goal Ball

Most people won't have heard of this sport, as it's really a sport for the Visually impaired. In fact if you have too much sight, you have to wear sleepshades

Three people on a team, and the ball is like a thick skinned basketball with bells inside. Teams bowl the balls towards each other, and throw their bodies in front of the ball to prevent goals. It takes place in a standard school gymnasium, and spectators are asked to be quiet instead of cheering their team on, so that players can hear the ball coming.

With the risk of repetition, here is what is on the Paralympics site:
Goalball is exclusively a sport for athletes with blindness/visual impairment. It was invented in 1946 in an effort to rehabilitate the blind veterans from World War II and was introduced to the world in 1976 at the Paralympics in Toronto. Goalball competitions are set apart from all other Paralympic events due to the unique atmosphere inside the playing venue. The object is to roll the ball into the opponent's goal while the opposing players try to block the ball with their body. Bells inside the ball help to orient the players indicating the direction of the on-coming ball. Therefore, while play is in progress, complete silence is required in the venue to allow the players to concentrate and react instantly to the ball. Goalball is played by male and female athletes with blindness/visual impairment and athletes wear ‘blackout’ masks on the playing court, which allows persons with varying degrees of vision to participate together. The game consists of two halves of 10 minutes each. The governing body of Goalball is the International Blind Sport Federation (IBSA) and in 2008, the sport is played in more than 50 countries worldwide.

We have discovered the county next to ours' Parks and Rec. dept has set up monthly goal ball games so off we went. Acer is too young, another couple years for him, but Calliandra was old enough to play. Today she and another girl learned the basics, how to throw it and how to block it. Calli is a natural, flopping and blocking and throwing the ball, the other moms there were pretty impressed.

Calli liked it so much I signed her up for a week of three hour classes next month. I also signed her up for a two week day camp where she'll learn other things including judo. Can't wait to see how she likes that! (both camps were free - excellent!)

Acer had fun during all this as there was a good playground just outside. He and Mum were out there for an hour and a half.

And yes, I was a bad camera mom and didn't take any pictures.


Fibromyalgia said...

yeah! a new sport! How exciting for Calli. Can't wait to see pictures of her playing the game and judo. She is a doll and Acer is adorable!

RamblingMother said...

Wonderful sport. So glad Calli liked it and does so well. So glad you got the whole school thing done, yea!