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Over 100 players take part in 3rd edition of National Blind Football Tournament

The Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF) recently held the third edition of All India Invitational Blind Football Tournament in Kochi in Kerala.

More than 100 players from across India took part in the tournament. The Round Robin League Games were played from 27 to 29 Aprilat the Alwaye Blind School Grounds.

The IBFF is an independent federation formed in 2016. It is affiliated to the Paralympic Committee of India and IBSA, New Delhi and promoted by Society for Rehabilitation of the Visually Challenged, Kochi.

Blind Football is an exciting, fast paced 5-a-side football played by visually impaired athletes using a ball with a noise-making device inside.

Rules of blind football

It is played on a smaller pitch on an enclosed court, and was 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.

Matches are played between two teams, on a ground size of 40 m X 20 m, each with four outfield players and a goalkeeper.

The outfield players are visually impaired (VI) and wear eyeshades to ensure fairness. However, the goalkeeper may be fully or partially sighted. The pitch is surrounded with a rebound wall and 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. All players are blindfolded before a game so that this becomes a level playing field for all players - partial or fully blind. (ANI)

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