The United States Association of Blind Athletes will host a blind soccer development camp from June 20-23 at the Utah School for the Blind in Ogden.
Part of the camp activities include a game scheduled for Saturday, June 22, at Ogden Indoor Soccer, according to a press release issued by the school. The registration window for the camp has closed. Twenty coaches and players are attending the camp, including players from Ogden.
According to the same release, blind soccer is an adaptation of soccer for athletes with visual impairment. It features five players per side. The sport’s been governed by the International Blind Sports Federation since 1996.
Blind soccer is also known by another name, soccer 5-a-side. The sport debuted at the Paralympic Games in 2004 and has been contested at every Paralympic Games since, according to a press release.
World Championships in soccer 5-a-side take place every four years between the Paralympic Games.
The United States, which does not currently support a 5-a-side national team, has an automatic entry in the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles since the US is the host country.
Efforts, including this weekend’s camp, are underway to try and find talent ahead of the 2028 Games.
Blind soccer takes place on a field covered entirely by kickboards to prevent the ball from going out of play, according to the USABA. The ball makes a noise due to a sound system located inside it to help players find the ball.
Because of the nature of the game, spectators must stay quiet during the game until a goal is scored. The game’s duration is composed of two 25-minute halves, according to the USABA.