Goalball Training & Equipment

Training for Coaches

Coaching is only permitted at certain points in a goalball game. While the game is in progress, fans and coaches must remain silent. Coaches must stop communicating once the ref says, “quiet please.” Any time a referee whistles to stop the game, coaches are permitted to communicate with their players. Coaches are also allowed four substitutions and four timeouts during a game. Each team is permitted to have up to six players total.

Training Adapted Athletes

Teaching an athlete with a visual impairment to perform an athletic maneuver can require more specialized instructions. Provide detailed instructions and feedback on foot positioning, arm and hip movement, and follow through. If an athlete has extremely limited vision, help by giving them small physical cues and modifications. Always ask before repositioning their body in a gentle and appropriate manner.

Basic Skills to Teach Athletes
  • Throwing
  • Blocking
  • Passing
  • Orientation to the court

Be sure to orient new players to the entire court, including the team area. Athletes with low vision will have difficulty conceptualizing the space they are expected to play in if they don’t first explore the entire area. You can position players on an orientation marking and have them practice finding other positions on the floor to give them confidence in moving in their surroundings.

Good goalball teams will work together to coordinate their defense and offense. If players miscommunicate about positioning or responsibilities on the court, there will be gaps in the defense’s protection of the goal. Constant verbal and auditory communication are crucial. Communication is only restricted while the ball is moving down the court so that one team cannot prevent the other from hearing the ball.

While teaching new teams or players, coaches should emphasize talking to teammates to facilitate passing and defensive coordination. Coaches should emphasise playing good defense and limiting penalties like high balls.


The following equipment is crucial for playing goalball:

  • One goalball
  • Knee and elbow pads for each participant
  • Six sets of eyeshades (blacked out ski goggles or anything else that will adequately block out light)
  • Athletic supporters and chest protectors
  • String or cord for the boundary and orientation lines
  • Tape that will not damage the floor (painters tape is an inexpensive and easy solution while floor/court tape can provide more durability)

The following are not crucial but may be desired for a better game experience:

  • Hip pads (hockey pads, football girdles and compression pads are all readily available options)
  • Goals (custom goalball goals can be created out of PVC relatively inexpensively, while metal goals can be purchased)
The Court

The boundaries and materials comprising a goalball court. A goalball court is the size of an international volleyball court and has specific orientation markings. All court markings are tactilely marked with string or cord running underneath tape.



Guideline Table of Contents
Competition and Rules




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