Originally developed more than half a century ago as rehabilitation for World War II blind veterans, goalball is an exclusively Paralympic sport.
GOALBALL IN ATHENS
Events: Men and women's team
Schedule: 20-26 Sept 2004
Team GB: None
GB medals in Athens:
It is played by both men and women, who are blind or visually impaired, on a volleyball court.
Each team consists of three players and the aim of the game is for each team to roll the ball, with their hands to the opposite side and score a goal.
Bells inside the ball indicate to players the location of the ball.
Goalball was invented in Austria in 1946 when German Sepp Reindle and Austrian Hanz Lorenzen used it to help rehabilitate visually-impaired war veterans.
It soon developed into a competitive sport with games often organised between local teams Germany and Austria.
Introduced as a demonstration event during 1976 Paralympic Games in Toronto, it was officially included in the Paralympic Games competition programme four years later in Arnhem.
Athens hosted 12 men's and eight women's goalball teams.
Athletes in each team are categorised by their level of visual disability, ranging from B1 (blindness) to B3 (poor vision).
The objective of each game is to roll the ball by hand to the opposite side and score a goal while the players of the opponent team try to block the ball with any part of their body.
A game consists of two halves of 10 minutes each with three-minute break inbetween and the winner is the team who scores the most goals within that time.
All the players have to be blindfolded to cancel out the disparities of athletes with poor vision and total blindness.
There was no British team in the men or women's event at Athens.