The first game in Spain’s women’s first division goalball league that got underway early Sunday morning on the right court Sunday at Centros de Recursos Educativos ONCE in Madrid, featuring Madrid taking on Canarias Cludeon. The home side came away with a 5 – 1 victory .
Before the game got underway, there was the obligatory goggles check. Number 3 shot for Madrid to start the game, with the ball staying in for two volleys before Madrid shot the ball out. The Madrid scored at 9:20 left in the first half. Number 5 for the Canarias almost had a really good scoring change, sliding the ball into the area near the far corner, but number 1 managed to get enough of a hand on it to block out the ball.
Both teams were talking on the court, calling for the ball to shoot it or asking if their teammates had the ball. “¿Tienes?”, “Tengo.”, “Aquí.”, “ja ja”. “Vale.”, and “¿Sabes?” Madrid’s number 3 started from a standing position again this time, though on one occasion, she almost stood in the way of an oncoming ball thrown by her teammate behind her.
For the most part, players had good court sense and managed to keep the ball, or skim close to the net. Number 2 for Madrid appeared to have the biggest trouble keeping the ball in. The Canarias team players at time went to the sideline posts to assist in making sure their players were lined up for shots. The Canarias took a timeout with 4:03 left in the first half.
At 2:46 left, Madrid scored their second goal. Number 3 for Canarias almost had a wide open net in the center but Madrid’s number 3 got down on time to stop the ball. There was a stop with 0:48 left in the first half for a goggle check for Madrid’s number 3. Madrid’s number 3 scored through the center at 0:14 left to bring her team ahead 3 – 0.
The second half started with another goggle check. Before the start of the half, the Canarias players lined up and their two side players changed sides. Number 3 for the Canarias opened the shooting for her side but the Madrid side easily blocked it. The Canarias center also started defense from the standing position.
Play was stopped at 8:31 while number 1 for Madrid tied her shoe. The shot by Madrid number 3 followed with a block by the Canarias number 3 that sent the ball bouncing back into the Madrid half. This was repeated against later off a shot by Madrid 1. Madrid number 2 took a shot that had the ball careening into the heater on the scorer’s table. Number 3 for the Canarias had a bad throw that was basically straight at the sidelines. Following a Madrid timeout, number 3 shot the ball straight through a large gap in the center to bring her side up 4 – 0.
Madrid number 1 did a nice reaching save, then did a quick shot, which the Canarias parried back. Madrid scored again on their return parry with 4:39 left in the first half. At that point, the Canarias made a substitution.
Madrid upped their quality of play following that fifth goal, with players making a really good three deep defensive block on a number of the Canarias shots without looking like they needed to rush their game. There was another goggle check. A Madrid player almost scored as a result of a mistimed drop by Canarias number 3, only stopped as she reached behind to grab the ball and prevent it going in.
The Canarias scored their first with 1:23 remaining on a shot that was stopped inches into the goal. It brought the score to 5 – 1. 0:38 left and Madrid number 1 had a goggle check. The game ended at 5 – 1. Madrid’s center this game showed a lot of leadership on the floor, clearly directing her players, getting them positioned and making sure players got their shots.
Unlike in some countries where sighted and non-sighted players play in the national league, the Spanish league does not permit sighted players to compete. All players need to have a vision impairment to be eligible for a team.