Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Goalball or Torball?

The following article was originally posted on the website and is reposted here for your convenience.


By Satguru Rathi

Torball is a game developed in the 1970's for blind and visually impaired people. The game suits men and women of all ages. There are lots of facilities in this game for rehabilitation activities as well as leisure, school and top level sport.

Torball is played on a rectangular court of 16 metres in length and 7 metres in width. On the court are six players from two teams, i.e. three players per team. A goal is erected at either end of the rectangular court. The game is played with a bell ball, which must be thrown underneath three cords tightened across the court. The object of the game is for each team to throw the ball across the opponent's goal line while the other team attempts to prevent this from happening. Then, the former defending team takes on the attacking play and former attackers in turn defend their goal.

A particularity of the game is the ball, which weighs only 500 grams and is filled with air. Its qualities allow playing very tricky and fast. Torball demands concentration and quick response by the players. Torball has got what it takes to spread even further and become a Paralympics sport. Torball is a speedy and dynamic game. It is enormously popular in Central Europe and Latin America. Thus it is also played on the other Continents, Asia, African and Oceania. Torball is presumably played in about 30 countries by almost 1,200 people.


The origin of the game is not totally clear. The game known as Torball today was developed in the 1970s on the basis of Goalball (then known as Torball), which in turn is based on Rollball. As a result there were two varieties of Torball in central Europe. The older version was played with a ball that weighed two kilograms and was later called Goalball (the English translation of the German name Torball), whereas the newer one used a ball of 500 grams and kept the name Torball. Torball can also be played by sighted people.

Click this link for a detailed rule book on Torball.

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