What is Paralympic football 7-a-side?
One of two football competitions, 7-a-side football features eight men's teams, who will take part in a 20-match tournament that starts with a round robin phase before four teams progress to the semi-finals. Like the 5-a-side format, there are no offsides, but throw-ins may be made with one hand only. All teams must be made up of ambulant cerebral palsy athletes, while each side must maintain a line-up featuring player with varying levels of disability. Pitches are around 70m by 50m, each half lasts 30 minutes and the goals are smaller than regular football goals: 5m by 2m.
Who won Paralympic Football 7-a-side gold in Beijing in 2008?
Ukraine won the gold medal in 2008, beating Russia 2-1 in extra time after the game had ended 0-0 during regular time. Both sides had topped their respective groups, picking up maximum points in the process. The gold medallists were in high-scoring form throughout the tournament, racking up an 8-1 win over Great Britain, a 7-0 win over Ireland, a 4-0 win over Iran and a 6-0 semi final win against Brazil.
Do ParalympicsGB have a chance of winning any Paralympic Football 7-a-side medals?
Great Britain finished 7th in Beijing, where they were making their first appearance in this sport since 1992. Since then, the side has progressed further, including a third place finish at the 2010 BT Paralympic World Cup. The 7-a-side team for the Paralympic Games comprises players from both the Scottish and English teams. The team includes Michael Barker, who was previously part of Everton Football Club’s School of Excellence, and Martin Sinclair, the brother of Swansea City’s Scott Sinclair, who competed in the Olympics for Team GB. Great Britain are in Group B along with Brazil, the USA and Ukraine.
Where will the Paralympic 7-a-side football take place?
The Riverbank Hockey Arena will play host to both the football events at the Paralympics. Situated in the north of the Olympic Park, the Hockey Arena was used for the Olympic Hockey competition during the Games in July and August. To plan your visit take a look at our simple Paralympic Map or, if you're looking for a great hotel, check out the LondonTown.com hotel deals service.
When is the Paralympic 7-a-side football?
The 7-a-side football programme takes place on alternating days to fit alongside the 5-a-side schedule. Games will take place on Saturday 1st September, Monday 3rd, Wednesday 5th, Friday 7th and the gold and bronze medal matches will be played on Sunday 9th. See our Paralympics Day-by-Day Guide for the full schedule of events.
How do I get to the Paralympic 7-a-side football at The Riverbank Hockey Arena?
There are numerous options when travelling to the Olympic Park. Driving is not advised due to high levels of traffic and restricted parking - limited, pre-booked parking will be available for disabled spectators. There are various public transport options. Delivering passengers from St Pancras to Stratford International in just seven minutes, the Olympic Javelin high-speed train shuttle service will take up to an estimated 25,000 travellers per hour. National Rail, Docklands Light Railway and London Overground will run trains to Stratford, Stratford International and West Ham. There are two London Underground stations that service the Olympic Park - Stratford and West Ham.
How do I get tickets to the Paralympic 7-a-side football?
Tickets can be purchased from www.tickets.london2012.com. More than 2.1 million of the 2.5 million available tickets have already been sold - organisers are claiming this could be the first Paralympics to sell out in the 52 year history of the Games. Twitter users could start following @2012TicketAlert, an unofficial feed set up during the Olympics which runs a check on the official site every three minutes and tweets every time a ticket becomes available.
What are the disability divisions for Paralympic 7-a-side football?
In 7-a-side football, athletes are given a classification of between 5 and 8. Class 5 footballers will have difficulty in dynamic movements such as turning, pivoting and stopping and will see exertion have the most effect on their functionality compared to other classes. Class 6 footballers will have the same difficulty and will also have difficulty with explosive movements and vertical jumps. They will have delayed saving or protective reactions when falling or losing balance.
Class 7 footballers often walk with a noticeable limp and when sprinting usually there will be a limitation in knee pick-up and asymmetrical stride length. Players will have difficulty in pivoting and balancing on the impaired side. Hip placement on the affected side frequently affects both passing and shooting power. Class 8 footballers may appear to have near-normal function but will experience tremors or small joint movements. Some players will not be able to place their heel to the ground completely on their affected side and some will not be able to pivot or turn on their affected side to the same degree as their non-affected side. When attacking, the player’s impulse impairment creates a slight but significant hesitation.
When did 7-a-side football first appear at the Paralympics?
7-a-side football made its Paralympic debut in New York in 1984. The first ever 7-a-side football tournament was hosted in Edinburgh in 1978 before it became a part of the Paralympic Games. Netherlands are the most successful nation, winning all three gold medals between 1988 and 1996.