Tennessee Association of Blind Athletes

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TNABA has a great group of sighted and blind men, women, and children who get together each week to play a great game called Goalball. This program is great for several reasons. One, it is a sport that both blind and sighted athletes can play together, since everyone on the court is blindfolded. Second, this program is geared toward both competitive players and those who want to play for recreation only. Goalball has been the longest standing program for the Tennessee Association of Blind Athletes since its original beginning in 1979. Over 60 blind and sighted children, men, and women athletes have participated in this program over the years. TNABA sponsors trips to local state and regional tournaments, and is working hard to create a statewide program in Tennessee so that more people have the opportunity to participate in local friendly competitions. In 2010, TNABA sponsored a men’s team and a women’s team in the USABA Mid-West Regional Goalball Tournament, in which the men placed 12th and the women placed 8th. In 2011, the TNABA men’s team returned to this tournament and place 13th. Each year TNABA has competed in invitational tournaments. TNABA also sponsors camps and “Community Day” events that teach the fundamentals of this great game.

Upcoming Goalball Events

No goalball events are currently scheduled.

What is Goalball?

The following information is from the article titled Goalball found on Wikipedia.

Goalball is a team sport designed for blind athletes. It was devised by Hanz Lorenzen (Austria), and Sepp Reindle (Germany), in 1946 in an effort to help in the rehabilitation of visually impaired World War II veterans. The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), responsible for fifteen sports for the blind and pially sighted in total, is the governing body for this sport.

The sport evolved into a competitive game over the next few decades and was a demonstration event at the 1976 Summer Paralympics in Toronto. The sport's first world championship was held in Austria in 1978 and goalball became a full p of the Paralympics from the 1980 Summer Paralympics in Arnhem onwards.

Picipants compete in teams of three, and try to throw a ball that has bells embedded in it into the opponents' goal. They must use the sound of the bells to judge the location of the ball. All players are blind-folded, encouraging sighted players to compete on an equal footing with blind players. Orientation lines made with gym tape overlaying string helps the blinded player know where he or she is on the court.

Goalball is an extremely simple game to learn, but can take years to master. It allows you to use senses that you do not normally rely on, such as hand-eye coordination. This allows one to develop different styles of playing and strategies, providing a high level of intrigue, as well as a physically demanding game. Whether you are playing competitively or primarily for recreation, Goalball is a great workout for everyone.

Read article from WKRN titled Goalball gains popularity in Mid-State.