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Goalball in the IBSA World Games

Date: August 17, 2023

Category: Goalball

Goalball is a completely unique, dynamic team sport of skill, speed, and accuracy for men’s and women’s teams that was present at all editions of the IBSA World Games. At the 2016 Paralympic Games, Goalball was one of the most attractive sports by the number of spectators (more than 200 000 tickets sold)! At the Paralympic Games, the ball has been measured leaving a player’s hand at speeds in excess of 60 kilometres per hour (37 mph).

Goalball is a game for people with visual impairments. Players try to score goals by quickly and precisely throwing a 1.25kg ball across the court and defending shots from the opposing team using their entire bodies.

There are 14 men’s and 13 women’s Goalball teams in the 2023 IBSA World Games. They are representing all parts of the world, and the winners will be qualified for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. Men’s teams are Lithuania, the USA, Turkey, Germany, Japan, Iran, Ukraine, Finland, South Korea, Argentina, Greece, Egypt, Great Britain, and Australia. Women’s teams are from the USA, Japan, Israel, Brazil, Canada, China, Australia, Finland, Ukraine, Great Britain, Greece, Germany, and Denmark.

A total of 159 athletes (75 women and 84 men) will take part in the competition.

The competition will be held from August 20th to August 27th, 2023, in Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry. Men’s and women’s teams will be divided into two groups using the World Rankings as of June 30th, and the four best teams in each group will play in quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals by using the “play-off” system. The IBSA Technical Delegate is Esamatti Kakela from Finland, the Assistant Technical Delegate is Tiago Oliveira from Portugal, and the Commissioner is Aurora Zanolin from Italy.

The following Referees will officiate the games:

Andreja Kumer – Slovenia
Azhi M. Mahmood – Iraq
Antonios Christodoulos – Greece
Balint Benko – Hungary
Bas Spaans – The Netherlands
Janice Dawson – Canada
Fariba Mohammadi – Iran
Kazuto Ono – Japan
Linda Welborn – USA
Manar Obeidat – Jordan
Raili Sipura – Finland
Raquel Aguado – Spain
Robert Avery – UK
Romualdas Vaitiekus – Lithuania
Sarah kuper – Germany
Warrick Jackes – Australia

The IBSA World Games is the biggest and most important IBSA sporting event, and for goalball, it is the event where the winners, in addition to securing the gold medal, ensure their participation in the next Paralympic Games in Paris. I have no doubt that all participating teams will fight to the last second to achieve this goal, and in doing so, they will make this sport a great show for all the spectators, which I hope will be very numerous. I am sure that all those who will have the opportunity to attend Goalball games for the first time will love this sport, and I hope that many of them will continue to follow it and maybe get involved more closely, as has happened to me since I witnessed a Goalball game for the first time“.

Aurora Zanolin
IBSA Goalball Chairperson

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