Goalball players and playing areas

Playing area

  • A game of goalball is played on a court measuring 18 m long × 9 m wide and is divided into six areas of 3 m.
  • The lines on the pitch are raised to allow the players to feel the ball.
  • The team area is the first defence section that starts from the goal line. In this area, defenders are allowed to block and control the ball to stop it entering the goal.
  • The landing area starts at the end of the defense area. In this section the attacking player can move around to take a shot at the opposing goal.
  • The neutral areas are safe zones that provide space for defending teams to hear the ball coming towards them.
  • The hard rubber ball is approximately 76 cm in circumference and weighs 1.25 kg. The ball has two bells planted within it and eight small holes to allow the sound to come out.
The length of a goalball court in 18 m, and its width is 9 m. The court it split into 3 m sections, including the neutral area, landing area and team area.


Different to most Paralympic sports, competitive goalball is played only by those who have a visual impairment. To ensure that all players are equal, the game requires competitors to wear blackout masks.

A goalball team can consist of six members, however only three players are allowed on court at a time. The players can take up one of three positions:

  • centre - this is the player most responsible for defence as they have the ability to support either the left or right wing
  • right wing - they defend the right-hand side of the goal and are a main attacking player
  • left wing - they defend the left-hand side of the goal and are a main attacking player
The players on the court are wing, centre and wing.

During a game, players often take on multiple positions to confuse the opposition.