Visually Impaired Rugby, also known as VI Rugby, is based around the Rugby 7s touch format. This allows the game to be safe and accessible for players with visual impairments. The gameplay takes into consideration a wide range of sight conditions whilst maintaining the fundamental codes, laws, and spectacle of rugby to both the players and spectators.
What is Visually Impaired Rugby?
The ball used within VI Rugby makes a sound when travelling through the air. Filled with bells, this generates noise to help the players hear the ball when it is moving. Whilst players are able to keep track of the location of the ball due to its sound, one of the key aims for coaches involved is to ensure there is a well-developed verbal communication system amongst players.
Is VI Rugby available for blind and/or partially sighted players in Ireland?
No, however IRFU are keen to make rugby accessible to all players and would welcome responses from clubs that might be interested in piloting VI Rugby in Ireland. The IRFU have delivered sample sessions to both blind and partially sighted players, however further development is required before we are in a position to fully engage with players. The IRFU are working with Vision Sport Ireland to investigate how best to create opportunities and develop rugby for blind or partially sighted players.
An update will be provided when more information becomes available.
If you are interested in finding our more details, please click here to email our Disability & Inclusion Officer, David McKay