Blind & Visually Impaired
Blind soccer, or 5-A-Side Soccer is played with four B-1 athletes and a sighted goalie. B-1 athletes are blindfolded to make an even playing field for all athletes. The game is 50 minutes long and is played with a soccer ball with bells inside so athletes can hear it throughout the field. The game can be modified for visually impaired athletes so all can participate. Coaches, goalies, and another sighted person stand behind the goal to help direct athletes throughout the game.
Meet the Coaches
Coach Skye Arthur-Banning
Dr. Skye Arthur-Banning is an associate professor at Clemson University who has been awarded over $1 million in grants to bring Parasport initiatives to Veterans, individuals with visual impairments, paralysis, as well as mental health training to these audiences. He is the Head of Officials for the International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football, is the Vice chairperson on the Board of Directors for the United States Association for Blind Athletes, a US Soccer National Referee Coach, and a former US Soccer National Referee.
Coach Katie Smith
Ohio Blind Soccer started in 2018 after Katie Smith attended a Blind Soccer Camp through The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA). This city program started with only one-athlete and has grown ever since. There are currently six teams playing blind soccer within the USA, but there is a push for growth on the grassroots and national level. Ohio Blind Soccer currently has one athlete who is perusing the USA national B1 team. Coach Katie has been involved in multiple development camps and clinics on a national level within the US. The sport is growing with hopes of creating a national men’s and women’s team this year. With the collaboration of USABA and Columbus Parks and Recreation, Ohio Blind Soccer is one of the few teams who has promise and growth within the sport with the goal of the 2028 Paralympics.