Colorado Springs, Colo. (June 14, 2019) – The competition schedules for goalball have been announced for the upcoming 2019 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) International Qualifier to be held July 2-9 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There are 27 goalball teams vying to secure their spot in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, including 14 men’s and 13 women’s squads. Each gender has been divided into two pools as follows:
Men’s Pool A Men’s Pool B
Czech Republic Korea
Women’s Pool X Women’s Pool Y
Great Britain Greece
The U.S. men’s team will play each of their Pool B opponents over the course of the first six days. They open the tournament on Tuesday, July 2, against Ukraine at 12:45 p.m. at Turnstone Center. The Ukrainian team is looking to qualify for their first Paralympic Games.
The following day, Wednesday, July 3, has the U.S. men playing two games at Indiana Tech. They face a stern test at 10:15 a.m. against Finland, the London 2012 Paralympic champions and most decorated men’s goalball team at the Paralympic Games. That afternoon’s game matches the American squad against Poland, who is also aiming to qualify for their first Paralympic Games.
After an off day on Thursday, July 4, the U.S. men are back in action for two games at Indiana Tech on Friday, July 5. At 12:45 p.m. they take on South Korea and at 7:00 p.m. face the team from Spain. South Korea is seeking qualification in its first Paralympic Games, while Spain last competed at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.
The final pool-play match is slated for Saturday, July 6, against China, the Asian champions and Beijing 2008 gold medalist. That match takes place at Turnstone at 4:30 p.m.
The U.S. women’s team begins pool play on Tuesday, July 2, at 3:15 p.m. against Denmark, the third-most decorated country at a Paralympic Games with four medals, including one gold. The opening game will be played at Indiana Tech.
Two-time Paralympic champion Canada is next up for the Team USA women on Wednesday, July 3, at 12:45 p.m. at Turnstone Center. The Canadian team has five overall Paralympic Games medals.
An Independence Day match against Ukraine starts at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 4, at Indiana Tech. Ukraine is coming off their Paralympic Games debut in Rio in 2016.
Two-time world champion Finland awaits the U.S. women for a match at Turnstone Center on Friday, July 5, at 3:15 p.m. Finland was the 1992 Paralympic champions in Barcelona.
Pool play concludes for the American women on Saturday, July 6, with an 11:30 a.m. matchup against Greece at Indiana Tech. Greece is seeking to qualify for their second Paralympic Games.
Quarterfinal-round matches for men and women will be held at both Turnstone Center and Indiana Tech on Sunday, July 7, followed by semifinal and placement matches at both venues on Monday, July 8. The medal matches will all be held at Turnstone Center on Tuesday, July 9, beginning at 11:30 a.m.
The U.S. goalball teams boast nine Paralympic medalists on their rosters including Asya Miller (Portland, Ore.), Lisa Czechowski (Boonton, N.J.), Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, Ga.), Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.) and Marybai Huking (Plain City, Utah) on the women’s side, and Tyler Merren (Coral Springs, Fla.), John Kusku (Commerce Township, Mich.), Joseph Hamilton (Sacramento, Calif.) and Andrew Jenks (Wilmington, Del.) on the men’s team.
The American teams are coming off medal-winning performances at the most recent Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016, where the men’s squad captured the silver medal and the women’s team won the bronze.
The event also includes the IBSA Judo Qualifier from July 3-5 at the Grand Wayne Center, as well as the IBSA General Assembly.
Comprehensive Livestream Coverage Planned
IBSA, along with co-hosts Turnstone Center and the United States Association of Blind Athletes, are pleased to announce a robust livestream coverage plan for the 2019 IBSA Goalball and Judo International Qualifier made possible by support from AWS Foundation.
Fans around the world will not miss a minute of action from both the goalball and judo venues as Alan March Sport, Ltd. (www.alanmarchsport.com) will provide wall-to-wall livestream coverage of all three judo mats (July 3-5) and both goalball venues (July 2-9). Commentary will also be provided for at least one judo mat and one goalball venue.
Alan March Sport, Ltd., brings a wealth of sports broadcast experience to the event in Fort Wayne. The company has covered multiple events for the International Paralympic Committee as well as the 2017 IBSA Blind Football European Championships in Berlin, Germany, which reached over one million viewers (www.youtube.com/watch?v=klCVqPaxadA).
The livestreams will be broadcast on the following platforms:
Founded in 1943, Turnstone empowers people with disabilities by maximizing their independence. The agency’s mission is to provide therapeutic, educational, wellness and recreational programs to empower people with disabilities, and it is the only not-for-profit in the region that offers a full range of programs and facilities designed to meet the unique needs of people with disabilities.
Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. USABA’s mission: to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity. www.usaba.org | Twitter: @USABA1 | Facebook: United States Association of Blind Athletes.