Saturday 1 – Sunday 9 September 2012
Olympic Park – Riverbank Arena
Number of competitors
Eight teams with 12 athletes per team.
Each country is limited to one team.
C5 – athletes with difficulties when walking and running, but not when standing or kicking a ball.
C6 – athletes with control and coordination problems of their upper limbs, especially when running.
C7 – athletes with coordination problems in one arm and leg on the same side of the body.
C8 – minimal disability athletes; they must meet eligibility criteria and have an obvious impairment that has an impact on their ability to play football.
Teams must include at least one athlete with either C5 or C6 classification. If this is not possible, the team must play with six players. No more than three C8 players are allowed to play at the same time.
Read more about Paralympic 7-a-side Football classification
Number of medal events
Field of play
The pitch is 75m long and 55m wide, with goals at either end 5m wide and 2m high.
7-a-side-Football at the Paralympic Games
7-a-side Football has been part of the Paralympic programme since the New York and Stoke Mandeville 1984 Games.
7-a-side Football follows FIFA rules, with some modifications: each team consists of seven players; the playing field is smaller, as are the goals (5m by 2m); there’s no offside rule; throw-ins may be made with one hand only; and each half lasts 30 minutes.
For a complete set of rules, please refer to the website of the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA), governing body for the sport.
The 7-a-side Football tournament features eight men’s teams, with two groups of four teams playing in a round-robin format. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the semi-finals, with the winning semi-finalists going head to head for the gold.
In the group matches games can be played to a draw. In the knockout stages, two 10-minute periods of extra time are played. If scores are still tied after this, the game goes to a penalty shoot-out of five kicks per team, followed by sudden-death penalties if necessary.
A referee oversees each game, assisted by two assistant referees, who are on either side of the pitch.
Keys to success
Paralympic 7-a-side Football, like its 11-a-side counterpart, is a fast and physically demanding game. Players not only need to have speed, strength and stamina, but also excellent ball skills and the ability to play tactically as a team.
Breaking the rules
A player’s first offence may result in a yellow card, with a second yellow card meaning a red card and instant dismissal, leaving the other team with an extra-player advantage. Some infringements will lead to the opposition team being awarded a free kick, giving them possession. If a player is fouled inside the goal area, he is awarded a penalty kick, providing the chance of a game-changing goal.
Extra time: If a match in the knockout stages is tied at the end of 60 minutes, the teams play 20 minutes of extra time in a bid to find a winner.
Penalty shootout: If a match remains tied after extra time, it is decided by a penalty shootout following standard FIFA rules.
Pitch: The playing area, measuring no less than 70m x 50m and no more than 75m x 55m.
If you want to find out about 7-a-side Football in your country, including clubs, facilities and coaching schemes, check the website of your National Governing Body. To find out how you can get involved in 7-a-side Football in the UK, go to thegamesandbeyond.com
For more information on the 7-a-side Football competition at London 2012 and the rules of the sport, go to the website of the CPISRA, governing body for the sport.