Doug Ripley, a player with the Vancouver Goalball Club and a member of Team Canada, blocks a shot from the U.S. team during the 2019 Vancouver Goalball Grand Slam at Guildford Recreation Centre. (File photo: Lauren Collins)

Goalball Grand Slam returns to Guildford rec centre

Three-day tourney kicks off Friday, March 13

Goalball returns to Guildford Recreation Centre this weekend during a Grand Slam tournament involving 11 teams

The fifth-annual event is hosted by Vancouver Goalball Club from Friday to Sunday (March 13-15), with action in men’s and women’s divisions.

Goalball is a Paralympic team sport designed for athletes who are blind or visually impaired. Using their hands only, players aim to throw the ball into the opposing team’s net across a volleyball-sized court. Players track the ball, which makes a bell sound, though noise and vibration.

This year’s Goalball Grand Slam will host athletes from the U.S., Canada and Israel who are preparing for the Paralympic qualifiers.

(Story continues below video from the 2019 tournament)

The action starts at noon Friday and continues until Sunday’s two tournament finals, at 10 a.m. for the women and 11 a.m. for men.

The Grand Slam schedule is posted to vgclub.ca, along with rosters and other details about the sport.

Games consist of two 12-minute halves. Eyeshades are worn by all athletes to allow partially sighted players to compete on an equal playing field with blind players.

At the Grand Slam, there will be prize money for the top three teams in the amount of $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000 for first, second and third place of each division. Additionally, $250 will be awarded to the Best Offensive Player and the Best Defensive Player in each division.

Guildford Recreation Centre is located at 15105 105th Ave., Surrey.

• RELATED VIDEO AND STORY, from 2019: ‘More of a visualization’: Blind athletes take court at Surrey goalball tourney.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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