A new documentary in production hopes to make the sport of goalball “the next worldwide craze.” The film follows several athletes playing for the New York Knights, exploring how the sport affects their lives.
At this point, you may be asking yourself, “What’s goalball?” Well, goalball is a sport created for visually impaired athletes. It was initially invented in 1946 to assist in the rehabilitation of visually impaired World War II veterans and it’s been growing ever since. The sport has been an official event at the Summer Paralympics since 1980 and several leagues have been developed around the world.
The game is played in a gym on a 60 ft. by 90 ft. court with three players on each team. Every player wears blindfolds or darkened goggles to ensure that all participants are equally sightless. The boundaries are marked with tape or rope so players can feel their way around the court.
The object of the game is to roll the goalball, a 3-pound ball with bells inside, into the opposing team’s goal. The team defending their goal must judge where the ball is based on the sound of the bells and stop it at all costs. The team with the most goals at the end of two 10-minute halves wins. To see the official rules of goalball, click here.
The new documentary, called “Shot in the Dark,” started out as a graduate school project for two journalism students at Columbia University, but, as the story unfolded, filmmakers Daphnee Denis and Hoda Emam realized there was more to tell. They decided to continue working on the project after their class was finished, hopefully turning it into a 1-hour feature documentary. Their goal is to “enter ‘Shot in the Dark’ into several film festivals and show the athletic ability of the visually impaired.”
Since funding is short, the filmmakers have launched a campaign on Kickstarter, hoping to raise $6,000 for travel expenses, equipment, and sound editing, among other production tasks.