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Research centres wanted for football classification

Date: July 21, 2018

Category: Football

The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Blind Football has launched a search for universities and research centres interested in partnering with them on an exciting new project.

In line with the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) new classification code and International Standards, which came into effect in January 2017, IBSA Blind Football is developing a sport-specific classification system.

To meet the new requirements the International Federation needs to:

1. Develop sport-specific classification systems through scientific research. Research must be evidence-based and focus on the relationship between impairment and key performance determinants in that sport.
2. Ensure athlete input is solicited to assist in research and to improve the classification system.
3. Ensure that classification research complies with internationally recognised ethical standards and research practices.

A blind football player advances with the ball at his feet
 Caption: A blind football player advances with the ball at his feet

IBSA Blind Football has received funding from the IPC for the research and is now looking for partners for the next 3-4 years.

Stage one will involve consultation and surveys of athletes, coaches and administrators from 5-a-side football. The second stage will involve developing tests that reflect elements of football likely to be impacted by a visual impairment. In the third and final phase researchers will simulate different type of impairments in sighted footballers to determine the minimum level of impairment for blind football.

The project will not only help to establish the minimum impairment criteria, but
will also provide a validated set of tests of performance suitable for future work.
Research centres and universities interested in carrying out the project can contact IBSA’s Executive Director, Henk van Aller. More information can be found in the attached documents.

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