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Disability Football: 5 a Side, 7 a Side, Soccer

Updated/Revised Date: 2022-04-10

Synopsis: Information regarding disability football, including soccer and 5 and 7 a side games. How can the blind play football? The ball is specially designed to produce sounds as it moves so that the players know where it is located. The goalkeepers have a special coach behind them, who tells them where they need to go, left or right. Various changes in the rules can take place to facilitate those who are playing and their impairments, but the intention is always to keep the game as close as possible to the standard, non-disabled sport.

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Main Document

Paralympic football consists of adaptations of the sport of association football for athletes with a physical disability. These sports are typically played using International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) rules, with modifications to the field of play, equipment, numbers of players, and other rules as required to make the game suitable for the athletes.

Disability Football Information Publications (3)

Disability Football Games Include:

Players competing in 7-a-side football are given a sport class based on their level of disability.

Disability football is now available from local clubs to international tournaments and several of the international governing bodies now hold their World Cup finals, as in the non-disabled game. British Blind Sport runs the national 5-a-side football league for visually impaired players. It also hosts football development days throughout the country and an annual national school's tournament (for under 18's).

Various changes in the rules can take place to facilitate those who are playing and their impairments, but the intention is always to keep the game as close as possible to the standard, non-disabled sport.

How Can the Blind Play Football?

The principle is pretty simple. The ball is specially designed to produce sounds as it moves so that the players know where it is located. The goalkeepers have a special coach behind them, who tells them where they need to go, left or right.

According to many blind persons from birth, they became drawn to football because of the hype they feel around them when a match is played, and even though they cannot see a thing, they can relate to it. There are many countries, like Japan, France, Argentina, Spain, Brazil and England, that have organized associations of visually impaired or partially sighted footballers and since 2002, world championships have been held.

Paralympic Football 5-a-side infographic
Paralympic Disability Football 5-a-side Infographic Explanation.

U.K. Football Association

The FA run both an England Partially Sighted team and an England Blind football team. These teams compete at the European Championships and the World Cup. The FA's regional Ability Counts leagues give CP players the opportunity to play regular competitive football, and progress to the England squad. Before 1999, The Football Association support for Disability Football was limited. Through the Technical Department, a Disabled Working Party was formed, chaired by Ted Copeland.

This group produced a booklet to assist coaches to work with players with learning difficulties and launched the preliminary soccer star test. This test was especially designed for use by players with a learning difficulty. Due to the plethora of organizations representing disabled people, The FA found it difficult to produce a coherent, all embracing strategy for disabled football.

Since the early days of the program, The FA has developed Ability Counts as its national activity program, ensuring disabled people have opportunities to play and train on a local level. Throughout England, players are participating in 54 clubs in season 05/06. The clubs are either Football in the Community schemes or Charter Standard Development or Community Clubs.

The FA is continuously committed to creating opportunities at all levels for anyone with a disability to get involved in football - whether as a player, referee, administrator, coach, or spectator. There's also a national network of county disability centers, specialist clubs and a structured pathway for individuals to realize their full potential. The FA also works closely with clubs at all levels to provide guidance and advice on welcoming disabled players and supporters - and to comply with current legislation.

British Blind Sport

British Blind Sport is a registered charity and the co-ordinating body of sport for the blind and partially sighted in the UK. BBS tries to encourage as many blind and partially sighted children and adults as possible to participate in sport at all levels. All the sports are run by subcommittees, staffed by visually impaired and sighted volunteers.

The Football Development Team are keen to support any club wishing to become more accessible to people with disabilities or wishing to establish a disability football team within the club.

Paralympics

Paralympic football consists of adaptations of the sport of association football for athletes with a disability. These sports are typically played using International Federation of Associated Football (FIFA) rules, with modifications to the field of play, equipment, numbers of players, and other rules as required to make the game suitable for the athletes.

The two most prominent versions of Paralympic football are Football 5-a-side, for athletes with visual impairments, and Football 7-a-side, for athletes with cerebral palsy.

Disability Soccer

Amputee soccer is played in over 30 countries around the world, the American Amputee Soccer Association is currently seeking Paralympic inclusion for the sport. The World Amputee Football Federation website can be found at worldamputeefootball.org

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Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2022, April 10). Disability Football: 5 a Side, 7 a Side, Soccer. Disabled World. Retrieved June 30, 2022 from www.disabled-world.com/sports/football/

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