Support through Sport UK's Helen and Colin headed along to a Hampshire FA blind football session to find out more ...
Hampshire FA Coach Mick Conway hosts blind football sessions roughly once every fortnight for blind or visually-impaired people, of any age, from the Hampshire area. We turned up to a session and asked Mick about the mechanics of the game ...
The mechanics of the game
With blind football, the ball (which is heavy to help it to stay on the ground) contains metal discs which rattle when it's in motion. Thus, the players can ascertain the position of the ball on the pitch from the rattling sound.
We wondered about the goalkeepers - did they need to be fully-sighted? Mick confirmed that they did.
Given that there are various level of blindness, we asked Mick how that was accounted for to ensure a fair game. Mick explained that, in matches, everyone has their eyes taped and then wears a blindfold on top. This ensures a level playing field.
How did we find it?
We joined players Glen and Dan and we were all under the instruction of coach Mick and his assistant Matthew. The first thing that Mick and Matthew did was to help to orientate Glen and Dan around the hall by doing some pacing exercises. The balls then came out and Glen and Dan did a number of passing drills. Colin and I then put our blindfolds on and had a go and, whilst we weren't great, we made a bit of headway as our ears became more atuned to where the ball was - and the direction it was headed - and at what pace.
We thoroughly enjoyed the session and the two things that struck us were the silky skills of both Glen and Dan and the brilliant coaching of Mick and Matthew.
Want to have a go?
If you're blind or visually-impaired and from the Hampshire area and want to try blind football, or if you know of anyone who you think might like to have a go, then either get in touch with us and we can put you in touch with Mick - or you can access Mick's details on the Hampshire FA website. We thoroughly recommend it.