Length of the Game

The game of Goalball is played for the duration of 20 minutes, and is divided into two halves of 10 minutes each. Atleast 5 minutes should be left between the end of a game and start of another game in Paralympics. In World Competitions, there should be a minimum time gap of 15 minutes between the end and start of a new game.

The players starting the game in any half must be prepared for eye patch/eye share control at 1 minute and 30 seconds before the game starts. If the team is not ready after 3 minutes, a delay of game penalty is awarded.


In case of a tie, the teams will play 2 additional 3 minute overtime halves, and the team that scores the first goal is declared winner. If there is again a tie, then it is resolved by executing free throws.

Coin Toss

A coin toss is conducted by a referee or another official before the start of a game. The winner of the toss can either choose goal to defend or throw and receive.


Aids of orientation are also permitted by the referee to a defending player during the match. In the penalty situation, the players are removed from the court. If at any point of time, it becomes essential to reorient a player, then personal delay of game penalty is given.


If the ball crosses the goal line within the goal, it is a goal. But, one can not score a goal if the referee passes the ball into play. A goal is only when the entire ball passes the goal line before the time expires.

Time Out

Each team is allowed 3 mintues and 45 seconds time outs during the play for coaching purpose. Atleast one throw must take place before the same team calls for another time out or substitution.

Players can request a time out by using non verbal hand signals.

Team Substitutions

Each team can take maximum of three substitutions during regulation time. The team can make 1 substitution during overtime. Atleast one throw must take place before the team calls for another substitution.

The substitution with the exception of a penalty player is allowed only during a penalty situation.

At the time of injury, if a player can not continue to play within 45 seconds after the medical time is out, then a substitution of the player is made as soon as possible. The injured player can not return to the court till the conclusion of the half of the play is made.