Partially Sighted Football
Partially sighted football is an adapted version of futsal, sometimes known as B2/B3 football. In partially sighted football, players have some level of sight. This contrasts to blind football, where players have a small amount of light perception at best. Goalkeepers can be fully or partially sighted. Partially sighted players can (and do) play mainstream, pan-disability, and partially sighted-specific football. Within these pathways’ players can take part in casual opportunities and through more formal club and league-based football.
About Partially Sighted Football
Who can Play Partially Sighted Football?
In international competition, outfield players must have an sight classification of B2 or B3. In the domestic game, players can also take part if they have a classification of B4 or B5.
Sight classification is based on two things: visual acuity and visual field. Visual acuity is a the ability to identify letters and numbers on a standardised eye chart from a specific viewing distance. Visual field is the entire range of sight, including peripheral vision. To find out more about sight classification click HERE.
Partially Sighted Football Rules
The laws of the game are based on FIFA Futsal Laws, with some key adaptions:
- 5v5 (maximum squad size of 10)
- Two halves of 20 minutes (clock stops when the ball is out of play)
- No other markings on the playing area
- Equal light intensity on all parts of the playing area and during the entire match
- The ball must contrast in colour from the pitch and lines
- Fully sighted goalkeepers must not leave the penalty area
- Internationally, when a team plays with a fully sighted goalkeeper, they must not have more than two B3 players on the pitch
- If goalkeepers are looking to distribute the ball to a teammate in the opposition half, it must bounce before the halfway line
You can find the full laws of the game HERE.
Talent & Elite
There are opportunities for talented partially sighted players to progress in the England Talent Pathway.
The FA supports a men’s partially sighted national squad. The team compete in international fixtures including European and World Championships which take place every two years. For more information on this squad, please click HERE.
National Disability Sports Organisations
The National Disability Sports Organisations (NDSOs) are a good starting point for many disabled people who want to be more active. They provide advice, support and opportunities for people of all ages with specific impairments.
The NDSO for partially sighted athletes is British Blind Sport. For more information on British Blind Sport please click HERE.
See Sport Differently
See Sport Differently is a new Sport England-funded initiative that aims to break down barriers in sport and increase opportunities for blind and partially sighted people to participate in physical activity. British Blind Sport are working in partnership with The FA and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) over the next three years to increase the opportunities for blind and partially sighted people to participate in sport, raise awareness of sight loss across the sports sector and workforce, improve accessibility across sports venues and encourage 25,000 more blind and partially sighted people to get involved in sport.
For more information on the See Sport Differently initiative please click HERE.
How to get involved in Partially Sighted Football
Click here to access the Find Football tool and answer the questions to narrow down your search requirements so you can discover the most suitable playing opportunities local to you.
If you cannot find a suitable playing opportunity or would like to speak to someone, please contact your local County FA.
Casual playing opportunities exist within the disability pathway to make it easier than ever to get involved. The FA’s National Participation programmes are listed below and are inclusive for disabled people to participate. Disability specific sessions also exist within each of these programmes if a non-disability session is not for you.
Weetabix Wildcats is non-competitive football for girls aged 5-11 who want to give it a go for the very first time or want to play with other girls their own age. Most importantly, Weetabix Wildcats is all about having loads of fun and meeting new amazing friends. To find out more click here.
Squad provides girls aged 12-14 with a fun, relevant and engaging recreational offer that allows them to develop themselves as much as their football skills in a safe, inclusive environment. To find out more click here.
Just Play is for men and women of all abilities aged 16+ that just want to play football. There’s no need to join a team, play in a league or commit to training in all weathers. Just book online and turn up for a kick about. To find out more click here.
Other disability specific casual opportunities exist across the country for boys aged 5-16 and girls aged 12-16. To find these sessions please use the Find Football tool.
Partially sighted players can (and do) play in mainstream clubs and leagues.
Pan-Disability teams allow players with a broad spectrum of impairments to play together including partially sighted players. There are now over 2000 affiliated disability teams within England. These teams provide an environment in which players can play competitively on a regular basis. Pan-Disability Leagues form the foundation of the disability competition structure. There's a network of over 40 localised pan-disability leagues across England.
Partially Sighted Football
The National Partially Sighted League provides competitive football playing opportunities for both male and female players aged 16+ with fixtures taking place monthly. For more information about the league click HERE.
To find out more about teams in your area please contact your County FA.
FA Disability Cup
Para Football Performance Pathway
England Para Teams
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