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International Blind Sports Federation

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International Blind Sports Federation
Formation1981; 43 years ago (1981)
TypeSports federation
HeadquartersBonn, Germany[1]
Ilgar Rahimov

The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) is a non-profit organisation founded 1981 in Paris, France. It was formerly known as the International Blind Sports Association. IBSA's mission is to promote the full integration of blind and partially-sighted people in society through sport and to encourage people with a visual impairment to take up and practise sports. IBSA is a full and founding member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

In March 2022, in light of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, it banned Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from its events.[2]


The International Blind Sports Association, known by the acronym 'IBSA', was formed in 1981.[3]

The inaugural IBSA president was Paralympic runner and skier Jens Bromann (from Denmark) who served eight years, before becoming involved with the International Paralympic Committee from 1988 to 1992.[3][4] IBSA was one of four organisations, later six, which formed the 'International Co-coordinating Committee Sports for the Disabled in the World' (ICC) in 1982, which on 22 September 1989 became the International Paralympic Committee, as the global governing body of the Paralympic movement.[4][5]

Second president (1993 to 2001) was Enrique Sanz (from Spain), followed by Enrique Perrez (2001 to 2005; also from Spain).[4] Fourth president Michael Barredo (from Philippines) served two terms, from 2005 to 2013.[3] Jannie Hammershøi (from Denmark), a former Paralympic goalball athlete, commenced in September 2013 to serve three terms.[6]

The association changed its name to federation between 2002 and 2003, when based in Spain and used the web address www.ibsa.es. The federation was later relocated and registered to Bonn, Germany. Its logo also changed at sometime from a representation of a globe, to its initials with the federation name below; in both logos, the acronym of IBSA being represented in Braille dots.

Sixth president Sandro Di Girolamo (from Italy), the president of the Italian blind sports association, commenced a four-year term from Monday 11 October 2021.[7] The term was cut short with an extraordinary general assembly for 30 June 2023,[8] whereupon Ilgar Rahimov (from Azerbaijan) commenced his four-year term.[9]


IBSA is the international federation for several sports for people with a visual impairment, including three Paralympic sports (blind football, goalball and judo), powerlifting, ten-pin bowling, nine-pin bowling, torball, and showdown.[10]

Competition is held within five regions: Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.[11] For the sport of goalball, competitively Asia and Oceania are drawn together as 'Asia-Pacific' region.[12]

Sporting events[edit]

IBSA's showcase event is the IBSA World Championships and Games, held every four years. The first games took place in 1998 in Madrid, Spain, followed by the event in 2003 at Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The third edition of the games was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2007, and the 2011 games took place in Antalya, Turkey.

In 2015, between 8 May and 18 May, the 5th IBSA World Championships and Games was held in Seoul, South Korea, and included competitions in powerlifting, judo, goalball, football, chess, tenpin bowling, tandem cycling, swimming, showdown, and athletics.

IBSA also organizes world and regional championships in many of its sports. Regional or continental championships are generally held in odd years, while world championships take place every four years in even years when there are no Paralympic Games.


IBSA World Games[edit]

Edition Year Host Date Sports
1 1998  Spain, Madrid 18–26 July[13]
2 2003  Canada, Quebec 5–10 August[14]
3 2007  Brazil, São Paulo City 28 July – 8 August[15]
4 2011  Turkey, Antalya 1–10 April[16]
5 2015  South Korea, Seoul 8–18 May
6 2019
Not held
7 2023  United Kingdom, Birmingham 18–27 August[17]

IBSA World Youth Games (WYC)[edit]

  • Former name: IBSA World Youth and Student Games
Edition Year Host Dates Sports
1 2005  USA, Colorado Springs August 4–10 5
2 2007  USA, Colorado Springs July 11–17 5
3 2009  USA, Colorado Springs July 15–20 3
4 2011  USA, Colorado Springs July 13–18 3 [18]
5 2013  USA, Colorado Springs September 13–15 2
6 2015  USA, Colorado Springs July 26–30 1
7 2017  HUN, Budaors July 1–9 1 [19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History".
  2. ^ "International Blind Sports Federation latest body to ban Russia and Belarus". www.insidethegames.biz. 16 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b c "Former Presidents mark IBSA's 40th anniversary". International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA). 10 October 2021. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "History". International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA). Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  5. ^ "Paralympics history". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  6. ^ GODDARD, Emily (1 September 2013). "Danish former Paralympian Hammershøi named IBSA President". Inside the Games. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  7. ^ "Di Girolamo elected IBSA President". International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA). 11 October 2021. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  8. ^ "Candidates for the IBSA Extraordinary General Assembly". International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA). International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA). 15 June 2023. Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  9. ^ "Ilgar Rahimov is the new IBSA president". International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA). International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA). 30 June 2023. Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  10. ^ "Sports". ibsasport.org. 15 February 2016.
  11. ^ "IBSA regions". International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA). Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Rules and download". IBSA Goalball. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Madrid '98". IBSA. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  14. ^ "II IBSA World Championships and Games" (PDF). IBSA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 November 2004. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  15. ^ "3rd IBSA World Championships and Games Brazil 2007". IBSA. Archived from the original on 2 May 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  16. ^ "IBSA World Championships and Games Antalya 2011". IBSA. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  17. ^ "Birmingham named as host of 2023 IBSA World Games". 11 May 2020.
  18. ^ https://usaba.org/files/uploads/2011_WYC_Medal_Count.pdf[permanent dead link] - 2011 Medal Table
  19. ^ "Final Results: 2017 IBSA Goalball World Youth Championships - News - IBSA". Archived from the original on 9 December 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2017.

External links[edit]