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Blind football

Can the visually impaired play football? It sounds impossible, but blind football, also known as football 5-a-side, is a popular sport that has been featured at the Paralympics since 2004.

Today, several of the greatest football clubs has integrated a team for blind football, and the sport is rapidly growing all over the world.


Blind football has been played at special schools for the visually impaired for many years in many different countries. When the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) undertook the task of drawing up a set of shared rules for blind football, the development took off.

National football leagues and continental championships arose, and the first world championship took place in 1998.

Brazil has long been the dominant nation with five world championship titles, followed by Argentina’s two.

Today, Brazil are given a run for their money as some of the world’s strongest football nations are also among the very best at blind football: Argentina, Spain, France, England… followed by countries such as Russia, Turkey, Iran, Morocco and Japan. 

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  • The pitch has the same dimensions as in futsal/indoor football, and it is surrounded by 1,3 m tall kickboards.
  • The ball is a size 3 futsal ball fitted with internal bells that make a rattling sound and with a low bounce.
  • The players must wear blindfolds to ensure fair competition. The players locate the ball purely by sound, and they are directed around the pitch by other players, the manager, a shooting assistant behind the opponent’s goal and the goalkeeper. It is very important, that the audience is quiet during the game.
  • A match lasts two periods of 25 minutes with a 10-minute break.
  • There are two teams of five players each, including the keeper.
  • The keeper must be fully or partially sighted.
  • There is no offside rule.

Read the official rules on IBSA’s homepage:


“I just wanted to write and let you know that the two audible balls we ordered last year (Rattle ball, soccer size and Petito ball) are brilliant. I am a former Paralympic blind footballer with a severely visually impaired son.I wanted him to enjoy football, but felt that at 9 years old, the IBSA specification balls would be too heavy and difficult for him. The Rattle Ball is perfect for him to use for recreation and fun as it makes just as good a sound as the IBSA version, but is much lighter and easy to use.I struggled a lot with access to the right kind of equipment myself as a kid and I’m determined that my son should not have to scale the same obstacles as I did. Your work in this area and the sheer scale and variety of options available is a massive massive benefit to us compared to the situation of my youth – which apparently was back when the dinosaurs were around!”

Will Norman
Former Paralympic Blind Footballer, United Kingdom

“We appreciate all of your help within the past year with Camp Abilities and the different 5-a-side orders. We have shared your name with over 30+ people about your soccer balls and have only heard positive things. We are always recommending you to people who are curious about getting into blind soccer and are looking into order equipment for themselves.”

Lily Jagodzinski
Camp Abilities, United States

“Superb customer service and quality blind footballs and eye shades! Thank you for supporting our blind football initiative in Zimbabwe! zw”

Keon Richardson
Coach and Disability Officer at Palace for Life Foundation

“Handi Life Sport’s footballs for the blind and visually impaired are excellent with regard to quality, sound and playing abilities. The balls are used in Turkey by several sports federations such as The Turkish Football Federation, The Turkish Athletics Federation and The Sports Union for the Blind.”

Volkan Akyuz, Aksport, Ankara

“In the German organisation for the blind and visually impaired (DBSV), we have tested Handi Life Sport’s new football / futsal ball – and we think it is brilliant to play with.”

Reiner Delgado, DBSV, Germany

Supplier to the Rio Paralympic Games 2016 and the Tokyo2020 Paralympics:


The Court is of same size as used in Indoors football court, but fine to adjust the court to the available space.


Handi Life Sport offers glasses and masks that are used to ensure that none of the participants can see in the various sports for visually impaired.

We offer Justa Blind Sports Mask and polyester masks (red and black). The Justa Blind Sports Mask is also used in goalball, showdown and other blind sports.

The masks can also be used for teambuilding and sense training.

Since five-a-side is a very fast game and the players run around without vision, it’s important that the players protect themselves. Therefore, many players, in addition to masks, use some kind of head protection, so they don’t get hurt too much if they run into each other.

More information about the eyeshades in our shop.