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7-a-side football for players with cerebral palsy

7-a-side football is for athletes with cerebral palsy as well as any other neurological disorder such as stroke or some traumatic brain injury. The Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association governs this sport. It is one of two versions of Paralympic football, the other is blind football, for vision-impaired athletes, played with 5-a-side.

7-a-side football is played with modified FIFA rules, and is quite similar to able-bodied football, with just a few modifications. Rather than 11 players in each team, there is seven. There is a smaller field of play and there are fewer players as well along with no offside rule. One handed throw-ins are allowed.

Every athlete in the competition is ranked between 5 and 8 according to their impairment, with 5 being the highest class of impairment. C5 is for those athletes that have difficulty in walking and running. C6 is for those with upper limb coordination problems. C7 is for those with hemiplegia. C8 is for minimally disabled athletes. Every team must feature a certain number of players from each class, with at least one player from class 5 or 6.

7-a-side football at the London Paralympics7-a-side football at the London Paralympics

The field and goalposts are much smaller in comparison to that in able-bodied football. There is no off-side rule, and throw-ins must be taken with one hand in order to make it fair. The duration of the match is two halves of thirty minutes each and a fifteen minute half-time break in between.

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