Goalball is a paralympic sport that is played by men and women on an international level. It is fast paced, physically challenging, requires strategy and is exciting. Developed by Hanz Lorenzen of Austria and Sepp Reindl of Germany in 1946 Goalball was originally designed as a rehabilitation program for visually impaired World War II veterans. The basics of Goalball are that two teams of three players each face one another across a basketball sized court with all players blindfolded. The object of the game is to roll a ball that is about the size of a basketball (the ball has bells inside for sound) to cross the opponent's goal line to score. The other team members attempt to block the ball using their bodies. Teams play on their knees or lay on their sides to block the ball. It is silent while players are engaged so that they may hear the position of the ball.
The SASED Goalball team has just completed its eleventh season. Ms. Kirstin Peahl has coordinated and coached the team since its inception. The highlights of the season are the two tournaments in which the student athletes have the opportunity to showcase their talents and compete against other teams of students with visual impairments. On October 16, and October 17, SASED traveled to Jacksonville, IL to compete in the annual tournament hosted by the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI).
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On October 29, the SASED Goalball team hosted their fourth annual tournament at Addison Trail High School. Teams from the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI), Wisconsin School for the Visually Impaired (WSVI) and SEASPAR participated in the tournament. SASED staff donated homemade treats which were sold by the students during the tournament. The money raised benefited members of the community who are visually impaired and/or hearing impaired through the SASED/ATHS Leo's Club. Volunteers for the tournament included members of the WDSRA staff and SASED vision staff.
SASED Executive Director Dr. Michael Volpe commented, "Goalball provides experiences for our students which expand their world and allow them to participate in a competitive environment on an even playing field. The students, parents and staff are grateful to the SASED Board of Control for its ongoing support of this program by allowing our teams to continue to participate in the tournament".
SASED administration and the Goalball team are also appreciative of the involvement of Addison Trail High School and Mr. Thompson for their continued support of the home tournament, including the use of the school's practice facilities.