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Adaptive soccer

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Soccer (or football, in countries other than the US), is the most popular sport in the world. Here, adaptive soccer is a term that describes the practice of soccer by people with disabilities. While the formal origins of soccer go back to the late 19th century in England, it was not until well into the 20th century that players with disabilities started to enjoy and compete in this popular game in an organized fashion. Multiple adaptive soccer groups can now be found in the US and in other parts of the world.


Some Types of Adaptive Soccer

Power Soccer

Power Soccer is a fast paced, competitive sport for persons with disabilities who use electric wheelchairs. It has been played for over 20 years and is currently being played in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. The sport previously had many different forms played all over the world, but recently countries met with the objective of developing an international set of rules. These new rules were modeled after the French and English style of play, which is open and requires more passing. Players use powerchairs equipped with footguards to manoeuvre a 13-inch soccer ball around other players with the objective of scoring the most goals to win the game. The maximum speed of the wheelchair is set to 10 km/h. The sport is played in a gymnasium. Each team is allowed 4 players on the court at one time including the goalkeeper.


Deaf Soccer

When deaf soccer players meet to play informally, they can use the American sign language or use hearing aids to communicate with each other. Organized deaf soccer and participation in sanctioned competitions, however, do not allow the players to use hearing aids. In this last case, there is also a minimum hearing-loss requirement (55 decibels or greater in the better ear, found as a three-frequency pure tone average at 500, 1000, and 2000 Hertz). Deaf soccer has been part of the Deaflympics since 1924.

Some Adaptive Soccer Organizations and Groups

Federation of International Powerchair Football Association (FIPFA)

In January 2005, 24 people, representing seven countries (France, Belgium, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, Portugal, and the U.S.A.), met in Le Chesnay, France to lay the groundwork for an international organization for the development of power soccer. As a result, the International Powerchair Football Association (IPFA) was formed. The object of the IPFA is to be the general support and administrative body for the regulation and promotion of powerchair football. Over the next three years, the IPFA plans to develop a standardized set of international rules and has scheduled three international events. The FIPFA successfully organized the first ever International Wheelchair Football tournament in Atlanta in August 2006.

The Outreach Program for Soccer (TOPSoccer)

(Taken from TOPSoccer) The Outreach Program for Soccer, TOPSoccer, is a community based training and team placement program for young athletes with special needs in the US. TOPSoccer provides meaningful learning, development, and physical participation opportunities to these young athletes through the game of soccer. The emphasis of this program is on development, training, and meaningful participation rather than on competition. Our goal is to enable the young athletes with disabilities to develop their physical fitness, technical skills, courage, and self-esteem, through the joy and excitement of playing soccer.

The AYSO VIP Program

AYSO's (American Youth Soccer Organization) Very Important Player (VIP) program offers children and young adults with disabilities the opportunity to play soccer at their own pace. The practices and games are geared to their needs —with fewer and more flexible rules— allowing for a successful sport experience. The teams may include those who are blind or visually impaired, amputees or conditions that impair mobility, mentally or emotionally challenged, autistic, have Down's Syndrome or cerebral palsy.

References and more info

Adaptive Soccer Equipment
TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer)
The AYSO VIP Program
The American Amputee Soccer Association
The US Deaf Soccer Association, member of The USA Deaf Sports Federation.
Federation of International Powerchair Football Association (FIPFA)
The US Power Soccer Association, soccer for power wheelchair users in the US.
The Canadian Power Soccer Association
Greater Nebraska TOPSoccer
Queens Park Rangers Disabled Football Club (UK)

Soccer, soccer definitions, history, rules and facts from Wikipedia.