This Week in Weird Sports: Blind Soccer

Or as they call it in Europe, “Seeing Impaired Soccer.”

Or as they call it in Europe, “Seeing Impaired Soccer.”

Governed by the IBSA (International Blind Sports Association) blind soccer is a legit sport played the world over. And winners of the yearly championship automatically qualify for the World Paralympic Games. Which isn’t to say this is a game totally reserved for the less vision-enabled: That’s right, more sighted individuals can take part in an awkward game of kick-around…provided they’re either a goalie or blindfolded.

How do players know where the ball is or how to not run into each other in a comic display worthy of Benny Hill? Well, Mr. Rhetorical Question Person, let us elucidate you!

First, the ball is stuffed with ball bearings, so it makes a nice rattling sound. Second, a non-player is designated to stand behind each goal and yell instructions. Third—and most you’re-going-to-hell-if-you-actually-chuckle hilariously—players are required to yell, “Voy” when they’re getting near a ball and going for a tackle.

Is the picture painted yet? Yes, this is a sport that takes soccer’s deliberate removal of one of the most fundamental differences between us and every creature in the animal kingdom (hands), further subtracts mankind’s strongest sense (sight), and adds hysterical yelling.

Truly, this is the sport of the Gods. If the Gods were just amazingly cruel bastards.