Athletes compete in Southwest Regional Goalball Tournament

Roughly 150 athletes competed in the goalball tournament over the weekend at Ability360.

PHOENIX — Athletes gathered over the weekend at Ability360 to compete in the Southwest Regional Goalball Tournament.

Roughly 150 athletes competed in the tournament.

Paralympians and Paralympian hopefuls have worked hard to hit the next level of competition and one day the world stage.

Marybai Huking, a Paralympians and Sports Program Coordinator with the US Association of Blind Athletes, let 12News take a look at the local tournament.

For spectators in goalball it’s the sights, but for competitors it’s the sounds.

“This is a goalball it has bells in it,” Huking explained. “This is one of the firsts for our qualifiers for Nationals which is held at the Paralympic training site in Indiana.”

Goalball is played with three athletes on each team over two 12 minute periods, the team with the most goals wins.

But Huking said there’s a catch to level the playing field.

“Because there’s quite a range as far as people’s vision impairments so everyone who is playing wears eye shades. Since you can’t see anything, you’re really reliant on your body awareness, where you’re moving in space, communicating with your teammates and using those tactical lines and the goals behind them, you’ll see them orient themselves on those goals as well.”

Medals were presented to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place on both the men and women’s teams. The next competition is scheduled for February in Vancouver, Washington.

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