The Victorian Blind Football League exists to provide Victorians with blindness and low vision the opportunity to participate in Australian Rules Football, at a competitive level. Governed by AFL Victoria, the League provides an environment that promotes fitness, fun, friendship and a sense of belonging. Through participation in Australian Rules Football, it enhances life skills and develops self-esteem, confidence and improved health.
In 2019, Hawthorn's inaugural AFL Blind team went onto win the AFL Blind premiership.
Hawthorn’s premiership-winning list for 2019 was:
Mel Edge (captain), Ned Brewer-Maiga (vice-captain), Chris Gould, Dale Alards, David Steeds, John Boland, Ollie Oglethorpe, Soban Sivachanthiran, Zac Sheehan and Cebby Johnson.
How is AFL Blind Played?
A game of AFL Blind looks and feels like traditional Australian football, with slight adaptions to rules and modifications to equipment, it provides the support required to play a game of football.
Games are played indoors, which provides a controlled environment to allow players to utilise their hearing. The football has a USB charging port and an electronic beeper inserted to produce sound loud enough to assist with tracking the ball. To assist with identifying the centre and location of the goals, there are flashing lights behind the goals, high contrast backdrops hung behind the goals, and goal umpires how rattle shakers when the football enters the scoring zone.