The competition schedules for goalball have been announced for the upcoming 2019 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) International Qualifier to be held from 2-9 July in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA.
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.
The full schedules for both men and women’s can be found at the competition website http://www.ibsafortwayne2019.com
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 2 July against Ukraine at 12:45pm at Turnstone Center. The Ukrainian team is looking to qualify for their first Paralympic Games.
The following day has the US 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 men squad against Poland, who is also aiming to qualify for their first Paralympic Games.
After an off day on Thursday (4 July) the US men are back in action for two games at Indiana Tech on Friday, 5 July. At 12:45pm they take on South Korea and at 7:00pm 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 (6 July) against China, the Asian champions and Beijing 2008 gold medallist. That match takes place at Turnstone at 4:30pm.
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 US women for a match at Turnstone Center on Friday, 5 July, at 3:15pm. Finland was the 1992 Paralympic champions in Barcelona.
Pool play concludes for the American women on Saturday, 6 July, with an 11:30am
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 9 July, beginning at 11:30am local time.
The US 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.
Fans around the world will not miss a minute of action from both the goalball and judo venues as wall-to-wall livestream coverage of all three judo mats and both goalball venues will be available. English commentary will also be provided for at least one judo mat and one goalball venue.
The livestreams will be broadcast on IBSA Goalball’s and IBSA Judo’s Facebook page as well as IBSA’s website and YouTube channel.