VSI are promoting football as part of the Football for All programme run by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). Football under this programme is also called Futsal or Five a side. There are opportunities for both the partially sighted players (B2/3) and for fully blind (B1) players.
The B2/3 footballers play indoors and there are minimal differences in the rules from those that apply to the standard game of Futsal. The key difference is that there is a minimum number of B2 players required to be on the pitch at any one time during the game. This game is played using a normal indoor Futsal ball – with high visibility being an option when available.
The B1 team play on an artificial (hockey) pitch outdoors with low level boards forming walls along the side of the pitch. All players must wear block out goggles so that all are equally ‘blind’ during play. Sighted assistants call instructions from behind the goals. The ball contains a number of ball bearings and therefore emits a sound as it moves about the pitch.
In both cases the teams play with a sighted goalkeeper.
All Vision Impaired players who represent their country at international competition are eligible to be presented with Full International Caps by the FAI. Currently, the FAI are aiming to have an Irish B1 Football Team at the 2020 Paralympic Games.
Football training for B2/3 Futsal takes place on a weekly basis in Dublin. Regular training sessions for B1 Football are also being organised. It is hoped to establish the game in other centres around the country.
Whether you are young or old, male or female or just would like a bit of a kick around, we would love to hear from you – please contact us.
Tony Lyster – 086 6019247
B1 + Recreational football
Warren McDonald – 087 9194367
Vision Sports Ireland,
1 Christchurch Hall,
Tel: 085 8500193