Blind Paralympian athletes to compete in goalball tournament in Smyrna

Blind Paralympian Matt Simpson raised both hand in at the goalball net)Two-time Paralympian Matt Simpson of Smyrna, Ga., is competing in his hometown this weekend. (Photo credit: Kirby Wolff/USOPC)

The United States Association of Blind Athletes issued the following press release announcing that the Southeast Regional Goalball Tournament will be held at the City of Smyrna Community Center starting this Friday, and that 2016 silver medalist Matt Simpson of Smyrna will be competing in the event:

(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) – The United States Association of Blind Athletes is holding its Southeast Regional Goalball Tournament May 20-22 at the City of Smyrna Community Center. Twenty men’s teams and eight women’s teams are slated to compete.

Seven Paralympians from the Tokyo 2020 Games are on the rosters for this weekend’s event, including two-time Paralympian and 2016 silver medalist Matt Simpson (Smyrna, Ga.) and his Tokyo 2020 Paralympic teammates John Kusku (Commerce Township, Mich.), Tyler Merren (Coral Springs, Fla.), Daryl Walker (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Calahan Young (Pittsburgh, Pa.). 

On the women’s side, six-time Paralympian and five-time Paralympic medalist Asya Miller (Portland, Ore.) and two-time Paralympic medalist Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.) headline the competitors.

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The Southeast Regional Goalball Tournament is directed by Hal Simpson of Smyrna and serves as a tuneup event for the USABA Goalball National Championships in Fort Wayne, Ind., July 15-18.

EVENT SCHEDULE:

Friday, May 20: 1:00pm-8:30pm
Saturday, May 21: 8:00am-8:30pm (quarterfinals begin at 3:20pm)
Sunday, May 22: 8:00am-12:30pm (semifinals and medal matches)

What is Goalball?

According to the entry on goalball on the International Paralympic Committee website:

Goalball is played exclusively by athletes who are blind or vision impaired. It was invented in 1946 to help rehabilitate veterans who had lost their sight during the Second World War.

Players must wear opaque eyeshades at all times ensuring fair competition. All international athletes must be legally blind, meaning they have less than 10 per cent vision, and are classified as a B3, a B2, or a B1 – totally blind.

Teams are made up of six players, with three members playing at any one time.

The object of the game is to throw a ball past the opponents and into their net to score points. Players stay on their hands and knees to defend their net and score against their opponents.

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