Sunday, November 20, 2016

Soccer 7-A-Side

Football 7-a-side, or soccer 7-a-side, is an adaptation of association football for athletes with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders, including stroke and traumatic brain injury.Soccer 7-a-side is for male athletes. In 1983, classification for cerebral palsy competitors in this sport was done by the Cerebral Palsy-International Sports and Recreation Association. There were five cerebral palsy classification. The IPC (International Paralympic Committee) unveiled plans to develop a new classification system in 2003. The new plan went into effect in 2007. It determined eligibility to participate in the sport and that it created specific groups of athletes who were eligible to participate in. The IPC left it up to International Federations to develop their own classification systems within this framework. Competitors with cerebral palsy classifications were allowed to compete at the Paralympics for the first time at the 1984 Summer Paralympics.3 They are grouped in four divisions, C5 through C8, with C5 athletes having more limited physical functions and C8 athletes having greater functionality. At least one athlete from the C5 and C6 divisions must be on the field at all times, or the team must play with only six players instead of seven. No more than two players from the C8 group can be on the field at the same time.  The rules are the same as Olympic soccer, with a few changes to accommodate disabilities. Played with seven men, the field is smaller than FIFA regulation, at 75 by 55 meters. If a player can’t throw a ball in over his head, he can uses an underhand toss. There is no offside rules. The game is played in thirty minute halves with a fifteen minute halftime. Players are rated according to limb control and coordination while running.1

The United States went to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. Unfortunately, we did not medal. One of the men on the team was Josh Brunais. He was born in El Paso, Texas but now lives in Stafford, Virginia. He has only been to the 2016 Paralympics. Brunais is a veteran of the U.S. Army, having achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant before retiring. He began his service in 2005 and retired in 2015. He is a member of the United States Olympic Committee ACE (Athletic Career and Education) programs. The ACE program delivers high quality, comprehensive career and education services aimed at enhancing performance and personal development to both current and retired Team USA athletes.2

1PBS. (n.d.). Soccer 7-A-Side. Retrieved from PBS:
2USA, T. (2016). Josh Brunais. Retrieved from Team USA:
3Wikipedea. (2016, October 17). Football 7-a-side classification. Retrieved from Wikipedea:

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