Just as in futsal or beach soccer, futsal for the blind has it own set of basic rules, with the participants' unique capabilities affording this discipline a special place amongst the world's footballing spectacles.
Those interested in learning more about this fascinating game need look no further, as FIFA.com now brings you everything you need to know:
- Futsal for the blind takes place between two teams made up of one fully or partially sighted goalkeeper and four partially sighted and blindfolded outfield players.
- The ball used contains sound-producing capsules, which produce a 'tinkling bell' effect. This sound is what helps the players locate the ball.
- Games are made up of two 25-minute periods, separated by an interval of 10 minutes. The pitch itself needs to be outdoors for acoustic reasons, and is surrounded by lateral barriers measuring between 1 and 1.2 metres. These barriers help guide the players and speed up the flow of the game.
- Curiously, spectators must remain silent throughout the entire game and are only permitted to celebrate goals. This is vital so as not to confuse the players.
- The game is similar in style to conventional futsal, although the players must hold their heads up at all times. Also, prior to each attempt on goal the players are obliged to shout the word "voy" to let the other players know their location.
- The players are guided by three people: the goalkeeper, who cannot set foot out of his area; the coach, when the ball is in the middle section of the pitch; and a vocal guide positioned behind the opposition goal.
- Fouls are accumulated throughout each period of play. Once a team has committed four personal fouls, each subsequent infringement is punished by the award of a penalty kick.
- There is no limit to the number of substitutions and substituted players can re-enter the field of play. The only exception occurs once a player has committed five personal fouls, at which point they can take no further part in the game.