The Partially Sighted Football League (PSFL) provide competitive football playing opportunities in the United Kingdom for both male and female players age 16+ who have a sight impairment (SI). We welcome all playing abilities to participate within our league. With the introduction of other divisions, we believe this will allow all ability levels to participate on an equal playing field.
The League season is contested over 6 monthly tournaments between October and March where each team plays their opponents three times during an annual campaign. There are also two ‘Cup’ competitions which bookend the league season in April and September.
There is also a separate Blind Football League which is an impairment specific league that provides competitive playing opportunities for players age 16+ with Severe Sight Impairment (SSI), a category previously known as Registered Blind or Totally blind for people with little or no sight at all.
The PSFL is based on Futsal. Futsal is played widely in World Football but is less familiar in the UK. Essentially, it is a condensed version of traditional Association Football, considered as a version of five-a-side football. Futsal is played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Unlimited substitutions are permitted. Unlike some other forms of indoor football, the game is played on a hard-court surface delimited by lines; walls or boards are not used. Futsal is the fastest growing indoor sport in the world, and is the small sided football format that is officially recognised by both UEFA and FIFA.
Sight classifications are based on visual acuity (ability to identify letters or numbers on a standardized eye chart from a specific viewing distance) and visual field (entire range of sight, including peripheral vision) and in order to play internationally players must be classified as B2 or B3 however this is extended to include B4 and B5 domestically. Goalkeepers may be fully-sighted or partially-sighted.
For more information about classification, click here.
The laws of the game are based on Futsal with a small number of adaptations including:
For the full laws of the game, click here.
The PSFL work in partnership with the English Football Association (FA) to support existing clubs, and those interested in starting a new club/team in their local area. June 2017 saw the introduction of the FA Disability Cup event. This is hosted at St George’s Park and allows the league winners to compete against the league cup winners. The FA also provides a pathway through to the international England Partially Sighted Football squad, an elite version of our game.
The league is striving towards achieving FA Charter Standard accreditation. We work closely with each member club ensuring links to their Local County FA. Ultimately, a partnership that helps support organisers of clubs to develop their ability to recruit and retain players, introduce and enhance their formal infrastructure, increase their knowledge and ability to apply and secure funding, and increase awareness of a clubs offer to the wider visually impaired (VI) and mainstream community.
We hope that this information has helped provide some insight into the (PSFL) and how it engages people with sight loss into the game of football.
The Partially Sighted Football League (PSFL) provides competitive football playing opportunities for both male and female players aged 16+ who have a sight impairment (SI). There is also a separate impairment specific blind football league which provides competitive playing opportunities for players aged 16+ with Severe Sight Impairment (SSI), a category previously known as Registered Blind or Totally Blind for people with little or no sight at all.
The format of play began as 5-a-side football in 1997 and was usually always played indoors. The format of play changed to Futsal 2007. Futsal is now played throughout the visually impaired pathway from grassroots to elite international level.
During the league’s history, the organising body has changed on several occasions.