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Goalball proposed rule changes – Review of test

Date: February 15, 2013

Category: Goalball

As many of you may know, the Pajulahti Games in Finland was also a test tournament for some of the proposed rule changes. Below is a list of the proposed changes and some statistics that were noted down. You will also find some general comments that came from the review meeting held between IBSA Goalball committee members and participating teams.
NB: When reading any statistics, please remember that there were 40 matches over the course of the tournament.
Widely supported proposals:
Delete third time throw.

  • Three throws in a row happened 185 times, four throws in a row 29 times, five throws in a row 2 times and seven throws in a row once.
  • In the case where the player threw 7 times in a row, that player still only threw 60% of that teams total throws throughout the match.
  • Review of all the statistics showed no conclusions or correlations that could be made. This includes that the winning teams were not the teams that went beyond three throws or more often or one player is taking majority of the throws.

Increase time outs and substitutions to 4, of which 1 has to be taken in the first half.

  • Fourth substitution was used 8 times
  • Fourth time out was used 18 times
  • two times throughout the tournament, this led to a 5th time out

10 second clock shall be stopped on the center line of the court instead of when the ball leaves the throwers hand (purpose – to stop slow rolling balls).

  • 7 teams for, 2 against and 1 chose not to comment
  • Some teams were noticeably quicker to get control of the ball to have the ball over the centre line on time.
  • This did not fully eliminate teams slowing down the game as some teams still held the ball for an extended period of time before throwing. When the ball was thrown it was still a slow ball but was over the neutral line within 10 seconds.

Ball over when the ball is blocked over the center line or the side-lines in the neutral area.

  • Everyone present was in support of this change

Warnings shall not be used in general before giving a penalty; the rulebook itself is the warning for the teams.

  • 5 warnings were given during the tournament; 3 times for out of bench area and twice for personal noise.

“Act of throwing” is the moment that the ball leaves the players hand; noise penalty determination for a noise penalty starts from “act of throwing” and until the ball has reached the other team.

  • Majority of teams agreed that “act of throwing” starts from when the player starts their motion or acceleration to throw. However, it was agreed that the referees should be very observant of noise from the moment when the ball is released until the ball is defended. Meaning that “act of throwing” is defined as the moment when the ball is about to be released.
  • One team suggested that this should be an infraction, not a penalty
  • Majority stated that a throw that included a lot of noise should not be accepted.

Team bench area to have tactile lines -Team penalty for being outside the team bench area shall follow the same definition as for “illegal defense”; you have to touch the team bench area with any part of the body.

  • Coaches wanted the ability to take one step out of the team bench area to still be able to communicate with their players during noisy situations e.g.: loud music playing during a time out.

Penalty for re-shaping/deforming the ball or making the ball wet

  • All in agreement that a warning is not required. The rule is clear.
  • Coaches felt that players should be able to feel the ball to find the softer patches to assist their throw but any form of grabbing or deforming the ball to have better control is not acceptable.

No decision reached:
When the ball is blocked out or line out the team shall have just 5 seconds remaining to release the ball. Purpose of this proposal is to encourage players to control the ball.

  • Majority of teams were against this because it limited their ability to pass the ball.
  • Would work together with the elimination of the third time throw
  • Referees felt this was easy to officiate.

Not tested proposal:

  • Long ball – the ball must touch the ground at least once in the neutral area as well as the landing area of the defending team. This was not tested due to all coaches refusing to test this rule at the pre-tournament meeting.

It is also perhaps important to note that all these changes were officiated without any issue or technical problems.

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