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Goalball competitions are set apart from all other Paralympic events due to the unique atmosphere inside the playing venue.

Goalball is played by athletes (men and women) who are blind or vision-impaired. Each team has three players on the court at any one time and the object is to throw the ball into the opponent's goal. Bells inside the ball help to orient the players indicating the direction of the on-coming ball. Therefore, while play is in progress, the gymnasium is completely silent so as to allow the players to concentrate and react instantly to the ball. The cheers explode after each point is scored and silence resumes When the ball is back in play.

Matches last a total of 14 minutes and are divided into two equal halves. All competitors wear masks while they are on the playing court which allows athletes with varying degrees of vision to participate together.

At the 1992 Games in Barcelona, 70 men from 12 delegations and 46 women from eight delegations took part in the goalball competitions.

For further information, contact:

Trevor Williams,