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Competitive football

Disability Player Pathway for deaf footballers

The Disability Player Pathway and talent identification structure for deaf footballers is different to that for hearing footballers. It includes opportunities to compete in mainstream, disability and deaf-specific competitions.

Some deaf children and young people may prefer to participate in mainstream football as there are more opportunities to play in a wide range of matches against the very best footballers. Others may prefer to participate in deaf football as it may be more socially and culturally appealing.

Visit the Football Association (FA) website to see opportunities for deaf footballers.

Preparation checklist

Football matches and competitions can be confusing, especially for first-time competitors. Make sure you're fully prepared by using our handy checklist for deaf-friendly football matches or competitions.

Things to ask the parent or footballer

  • What level of deafness do you have?
  • How do you like to communicate?
  • Do you use any equipment to help you hear?

Things to bring

  • Dry wipe board and pens
  • Coloured flags

Other considerations

  • Are any footballers competing for the first time?
  • Do you need to make changes to your risk assessment?
  • If staying away overnight for a football competition, who will be responsible for alerting deaf footballers to an emergency during the night?