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Disability Football 5-a-side

  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-02-20 (Revised/Updated 2017-06-25) - Blind Football 5-a-side is an adaptation of football for athletes with disability visual impairments including blindness - Disabled World (Disabled World).

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Football 5-a-side is an adaptation of football for athletes with visual impairments including blindness. The sport, governed by the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), is played with modified FIFA rules.

The field of play is smaller, and is surrounded by boards. Teams are reduced to five players, including the goalkeeper, per team. Teams may also use one guide, who is positioned off the field of play, to assist in directing players. The ball is equipped with a noise-making device to allow players to locate it by sound. Matches consist of two 25-minute halves, with a ten-minute break at half-time.

Teams are permitted to use sighted athletes as goalkeepers and guides; sighted goalkeepers cannot have been registered with FIFA for at least five years.

Two types of competition exist.

For Class B1 games, only athletes with sport class B1 are permitted as players, with the exception of the goalkeepers and the guides, who may be class B2, B3, or sighted.

For Class B2/B3 games, teams can field players in sport classes B2 and B3; at least two B2 players must be on the field at all times.

Paralympic Football 5-a-side infographic

Paralympic Disability Football 5-a-side Infographic Explanation - Image Courtesy of Allianz.com

Football 5-a-side players assigned to one of three sport classes based on their level of visual impairment:

B1 - Totally or almost totally blind; from no light perception up to light perception but inability to recognize the shape of a hand.

B2 - Partially sighted; able to recognize the shape of a hand up to a visual acuity of 2/60 or a visual field of less than 5 degrees.

B3 - Partially sighted; visual acuity from 2/60 to 6/60 or visual field from 5 to 20 degrees

Football 5-a-side in Europe was developed in Spain. The first Spanish national championships took place in Spain in 1986.

In South America, there are records of a Brazilian Tournament organized in 1980. European and American Championships took place in 1997, followed by the first World Championships in 1998.

The sport was added to the Summer Paralympic Games in 2004.

Related Information:

  1. Disability Football 7-a-side - Disability Football 7-a-side is an adaption of association football for athletes with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders.


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