Sports for the Blind: Information & News

This disability sports category covers information regarding sports for the blind including bowling, swimming, football, and various other sight impaired sporting activities.

International Blind Sports:

The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) (www.ibsa.es/eng/), is a nonprofit organization founded in 1981 in Paris. Its mission is to promote the full integration of blind and partially-sighted people in society through sport and to encourage people with a visual impairment to take up and practise sports.

The IBSA believes sport is the ideal means to promote the integration of disabled people in general and the blind in particular. Sport can help people with disabilities overcome their disability by strengthening their self-esteem and their ability to overcome difficulties.

The International Blind Sports Federation is in charge of fifteen sports for the blind and partially sighted, including: Athletics, Alpine Skiing, Goalball, Futsal (five-a-side football), Judo, Biathlon, Swimming, Powerlifting, Shooting, Archery, Showdown, Ten-pin Bowling, Nine-pin Bowling, Nordic Skiing, and Cycling.

IBSA is also a full member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and encourages all blind and visually impaired people to get involved in different sports and physical activities. You too can become a blind athlete and take part in competitions ranging from school sports to elite level championships for the blind and the Paralympic Games.

Australia Blind Sports:

The Australian Blind Sports Federation (ABSF) was formed in 1979 as the national body to co-ordinate sport for the blind and vision-impaired in Australia. It encourages and provides access to international competition in world blind and multi-disabled championships for sports recognized by the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Altogether there are 2,600 vision-impaired athletes in whose interests the ABSF acts at the national and international level for competition, coaching, sport psychology and program development.

ABSF athletes are current world champions or world record holders in Field athletics, Tandem Cycling, Tenpin Bowling, Powerlifting, Swimming Water Skiing and Alpine Skiing.

Blind and vision impaired athletes and teams participate in national championships in Athletics, Cricket, Equestrian, Goalball, Golf, Judo, Karate, Lawn Bowls, Powerlifting, Rowing, Sailing, Swimming, Tandem Cycling, Tenpin Bowling, Water Skiing, Wrestling, and Winter Sports.


The United States Association of Blind Athletes (www.usaba.org) mission is to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity. The USABA has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. Beginning in 1994, USABA began a nationwide public service campaign utilizing elite blind athletes as peer leaders with schools and community organizations.


Canadian Blind Sports (www.canadianblindsports.ca/eng/index.htm) is the recognized national sport organization for the Paralympic Sport of Goalball, and advocates within the sport system for Canadians who are visually impaired or blind. The CBSA was founded in 1976 and is the recognized national sport organization for Goalball and advocate with expertise in blindness in the Canadian Sport System.

New Zealand:

Blind Sport New Zealand (www.blindsport.org.nz) is the NSO (National Sporting Organisation) for blind sport, headquartered in the "City of Sails", Auckland; New Zealand's largest city. Blind Sport New Zealand was formed in 1991 to negotiate funding and opportunities in sport both in New Zealand and internationally, on behalf of visually impaired individuals and groups. It is recognised by Government and SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand) as the governing body for blind sport. Blind Sport promotes opportunities for blind athletes to participate in National, International events and the Paralympics (Parallel Olympics).

Five Ring Ball Game

Five ring ball is a sport that can be played by people who are blind or people who may not have any disability at all. The game was invented in Kenya in 2003 and is played there by people who are totally blind. The bell ball has within it five circular parts called rings. The court is 21m by 10m. and the ball is thrown over the net and can be played in doubles or singles like tennis. The sport was demonstrated at Kenya national special schools and games at Nairobi school in 2012 and Kisumu polytechnic in 2013, the reception was positive. Equipment used is cheap and easily available. The Kenya sport association for the visually impaired (KESAVI) plans and manages games and sports for persons with visual impairments in the country.

Publication List:
- Author: Ian Langtree - (2015-03-07)
- Author: Disabled World - (2013-02-02)
- Author: Disabled World - (2012-08-17)
- Author: SAGE Publications - (2011-07-25)
- Author: Custom Golf Carts - (2010-06-19)
- Author: Dave Mark - (2009-01-14)

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Video: Disability Sports Compilation

Thumbnail of Clips of Disability Sports video clipClips of Disability Sports - A compilation of short video clips highlighting various disability sports and recreational activities for persons with disabilities.

Definition: International Blind Sports Federation
International Blind Sports Federation

The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) is a nonprofit organization founded 1981 in Paris, France. IBSA's mission is to promote the full integration of blind and partially sighted people in society through sport and to encourage people with a visual impairment to take up and practice sports. IBSA is a full and founding member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Facts: Definition of Visual Classes

The determination of visual class will be based upon the eye with better visual acuity, whilst wearing best optical correction using spectacles or contact lenses, and/or Visual Fields which include central and peripheral zones.

  • B1: Visual acuity poorer than LogMAR 2.60.
  • B2: Visual acuity ranging from LogMAR 1.50 to 2.60 (inclusive) and/or Visual field constricted to a diameter of less than 10 degrees.
  • B3: Visual acuity ranging from LogMAR 1.40 to 1 (inclusive) and/or Visual field constricted to a diameter of less than 40 degrees.

International Blind Sports Federation - www.ibsasport.org/classification/

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