Blind Football is a fast paced 5-a-side football played by visually impaired athletes using a ball with a noise-making device inside. It is played on a smaller pitch surrounded with a rebound wall. The sport is played with no throw-ins and no offside rule, which ensures non-stop action. Matches are played over two halves of 25 minutes each, plus 10 minutes for half-time. Blind football matches involve two teams with four outfield players and a goalkeeper. The outfield players are visually impaired (VI) and wear eyeshades to ensure fairness. The goalkeeper may be fully or partially sighted.
The game was only introduced as a Paralympic event in 2004. There is more dribbling and short passing than in the mainstream sport, and crowds remain quiet during play to ensure that players can hear the ball, their team-mates and opposition players.
In conjunction with the South Lanarkshire Council, Edinburgh City Council and The Royal Blind School, The Scottish FA is currently setting up opportunities for Visually Impaired and Blind Footballers.
To register an interest or enquire about these sessions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning Disability Football
The Scottish FA in partnership with Scottish Disability Sport organise friendlies and national 5’s, 7’s and 11-a-side football competitions annually. For further information on these events please contact the SDS head office on Telephone: 0131 317 1130 or email@example.com
Many of the Scottish FA’s local authority Football Development Officers (FDO) provide training and playing opportunities for footballers with learning disabilities.
Football for the Deaf
Hibernian Community Foundation
The Hibernian Community Foundation staged a successful Open Day in January to kick-off an exciting new project designed to engage with deaf youngsters, who love football. An encouraging turn-out – 24 boys and girls aged from Primary 1 to Secondary 2 – attended the inaugural event, which took place at the Training Centre in East Lothian. The youngsters were then given a tour of the Training Centre and enjoyed a fun football coaching session.
This launched the Hibernian Community Foundation’s innovative plans to carry out an upcoming programme, the play to learn approach, and how the Foundation hopes to develop a pathway of support for young people who are deaf, including regular weekly sessions.
Overall the programme is designed to give deaf youngsters an opportunity to build on their football and interpersonal skills and to make new friends.
If you are interested in getting your child involved then please contact Simon Spence at the Hibernian Community Foundation.
In Scotland and Further Afield
The Scottish Deaf Football Association organises league and competitive fixtures for teams and players who are Deaf within Scotland.
There are currently 25 active deaf football clubs in Great Britain, most of which compete in mainstream football leagues around Britain. The majority of these clubs compete in the British Deaf Football Cup, The English Deaf Cup, and the Scottish Deaf Cup.
The Football Associations run International Deaf Football teams which compete in the European Championships and the World Cup. British Blind Sport co-ordinates the Great Britain deaf football team which competes in the Deaflympics.
Wheelchair football has been played across the UK for a number of years now, with many clubs and development programmes providing regular coaching. At national and international level however, the game has been slow to progress.
Although the various football associations continue to provide opportunities for wheelchair footballers, only the Wheelchair Football Association in England run a national team.
- The game is played indoors on a 5-a-side pitch
- The goals are 6m (19 ft) wide
- The game is played using a 13″ (33 cm) Football
- 4 players on each team with 4 subs
- Specially adapted powerchairs are used by each player
- A match is 40 minutes long. (two 20 minute halves)
- Push-ins used instead of a throw in
- Only 2 players from the defending team may enter the penalty area at any one time
- Only one defender may tackle an opponent at a time
In conjunction with the Wheelchair Football Association, The Scottish FA is currently setting up opportunities for wheelchair footballers.
For further information on the Wheelchair Football Association visit their website at www.thewfa.org.uk
Autism and Football
Lothian Autistic Society and Hibernian Community Foundation work together to offer boys and girls with autism, aged 7-16 and from across the Lothians, the chance to build their football and interpersonal skills and to make new friends.
Hibernian held an Open Day on Saturday 24 January for parents to come along and hear more about the programme, their play-to-learn approach and how they hope to develop a pathway of support for young people with autism.
This exciting project will link to community football and will include involvement from many other Scottish football clubs who are developing similar programmes.
To find out more contact Lothian Autistic Soceity by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 661 3834.
From February 2015 onard there will be weekly evening sessions at the Hibernian Training Centre in Ormiston, 6 pm – 7 pm. Sessions are led by professional coaches, supported by Lothian Autistic Society staff. There is be no cost to take part in these activities.
Cerebral palsy football
The cerebral palsy version of the game is played by players who have cerebral palsy, head injury or stroke and play 7 a side. Apart from national squad training at the University of Stirling there is a pathway for players to compete for Scotland at European and World Championships plus invitation international events. Scotland’s leading players have the opportunity to challenge for places in the Great Britain team that will compete in the Paralympic Games every four years. CPISRA is the world federation responsible for governance of the sport and for organising all major events apart from the Paralympic football competition. This is the responsibility of the International Paralympic Committee.
Thanks to a very successful partnership between the Scottish FA and Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) the 7 a side version of football is flourishing in Scotland. A number of Scots are challenging for GB and hardly a week passes without another player hearing about the Scottish 7 a side set up.
The Scottish FA and SDS are always on the look out for new players. Potential and existing players must have cerebral palsy, head injury or stroke and be of any standard to be eligible to attend training. Each player is given one of four classifications.
These are described as follows:
Class 5: This class consists of players who mainly have spasticity in their two lower limbs. They have difficulties when walking and running, but not in standing or when kicking the ball.
Class 6: This class consists of players with moderate to severe athetosis, ataxia or a combination of spasticity and athetosis involving all four limbs. Class 6 players usually have control and co-ordination problems with their upper limbs, particularly when running.
Class 7: This class consists of players with a hemiplegia. The player usually walks with a limp and the arm or hand is flexed on impaired side. The other side of the player’s body normally functions efficiently.
Class 8: The Class 8 player has a mild hemiplegia, diplegia or athetosis or monoplegia and must meet the eligibility criteria. Players in this class must have an obvious impairment that impacts on their ability to play football.
At least one Class 5 or Class 6 player per team must play throughout the game. If this is not possible, the team must play with six players. Furthermore, no more than three players from Class 8 are permitted to be on the field of play at the same time.
For further information contact the SDS administrator or Scottish FA disability football development officer whose contact details appear on the Scottish FA web site.