What is Balloon Soccer?
Balloon Soccer was introduced nationally in 1987 where South Australia were crowned Champions at the second National Electric Wheelchair Sports event. It’s one of two forms of Football (Soccer) that has been modified for people who use an electric wheelchair for mobility. It’s fast, entertaining and can be played both socially and competitively. The sport is played with a large balloon on an indoor basketball court, where players will attempt to score goals with their head or wheelchair. Players cannot move their hand or foot from its usual stationary position on the body or wheelchair, and deliberately interferes with play. This keeps the sport as fair as possible.
It is strictly a non-contact sport and has a speed limit of 10km/ph. A team consists of six players, five on the court and one substitute who may be interchanged throughout the game. The playing field will be divided into an eight square grid, each square being equal in size. Two upright goal posts five metres apart are located centrally on the goal line at both ends of the field. A crossbar is fixed to the goal posts at a height of 2 metres.
Each player from both teams must use four adjoining areas of the eight square grid. One player from both teams may use six adjoining areas of the grid. This player is to wear a number 6 bib of a different colour. There can be more than one player from a team in any position, except adjoining six. The adjoining six is the only player permitted to change positions during a break in play or only by the team awarded any free hit. All other players may only change positions after a time out has been called.
Victoria have been National Champions in Balloon Soccer in 2004 and 2009.