This weekend (22nd August, 2015) the ISBA Blind Football European Championships will be kicking off at the RNC in Hereford, England. The Championships are heating up to be a highly competitive affair, with reigning European champions, Spain, returning to defend their title - as well as strong teams from both France & Germany who are both fancied as potential favourites for this years trophy. There are 10 teams from 10 different countries involved in the Championships including hosts, England, as well as Spain, Germany, France, Turkey, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia and Turkey.
Sight and Sound are very proud to be one of the main sponsors of the Championships alongside other main sponsors such as Waitrose, and the English Football Association.
So what is Blind Football?
Blind football is known as B1, with players considered to have no sight. The classifications B2 and B3 relate to the version of the game played by those with partial sight. With the exception of the goalkeeper, B1 players wear eye patches and blindfolds during the games.
Players locate the ball, which contains a bell or ballbearings, purely by sound. They are directed around the pitch by other players, the manager, a shooting assistant behind the goal and the goalkeeper.
While the ball is in play the players require complete silence from spectators. This heightens the tension of the game and inevitably results in an explosion of noise when a goal is scored.
There are no offside rules in the game, and the pitch is surrounded by boards. Each half lasts for 25 minutes, though with the clock stopping whenever the ball goes out of play matches can last for significantly longer than 50 minutes.
For more information please visit: http://www.rnc.ac.uk/blindeuros/
How can I get involved and show support for my Team?
By visiting this link you can purchase tickets for any of the upcoming games at the Blind Football European Championships, scheduled to kick off this weekend (22nd August) at 11.30AM: http://tickets.rncb.ac.uk/
Tickets are very reasonably priced at £5 each, and the RNC also have an offer on at the moment where if you buy 3 tickets you get 1 more for free! Once you have your tickets, just turn up on the day of your match and show your support for your country!
Showing our support...
Here at Sight and Sound Technology our focus is to bring useful and innovative technology to the UK market for the blind and visually impaired, ensuring that our technological products improve the quality of life, and maintain the independence that is quite often lost with sight loss.
On show at the RNC during the Blind Football European Championships will be a number of our latest computer systems, specifically designed for either those with no sight or partial sight. These all new computers are available through the RNIB and you can find out more about them here: http://shop.rnib.org.uk/home-and-leisure/electronics/accessible-computers.html
In addition, new FREE technology for the blind - Touch Maps by VOICEYE will be in place at the RNC. Our team recently went over to install the new mapping system at the Royal National College and so long as you have the VOICEYE app on your smart phone - you too will be able to experience Touch Maps for the first time when you arrive in the main building.
We wrote a more in depth article on Touch Maps from VOICEYE here: http://www.sightandsound.co.uk/p/mobile-touch-map-for-the-blind-from-voiceye/
You can download the the VOICEYE application for your smart phone from either the Apple Store or the Google Store for Android phones:
Apple Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/voiceye/id496389982?mt=8
Google Store (Android): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.voiceye.reader.access&hl=en