Soccer Event Is First-Ever to Feature U.S., Canada, Mexico (in its international debut); Hoops Tournament Features Nation’s Top Teams
PHOENIX, Ariz. (Jan. 9, 2023): Ability360 Sports and Fitness Center will be the site of five important tournaments in January and February, including the first power wheelchair soccer tournament featuring teams from the U.S., Canada and Mexico, in its international debut.
The tournaments are open to the public at no charge. The Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center is located at 5031 E. Washington St. in Phoenix.
• Phoenix Rising Power Soccer Invitational, Jan. 13-15
The first power wheelchair soccer competition to feature Canada, the US, and Mexico in the sport’s history, the Mexican national team will make its international debut. Five of the 12 teams are affiliated with professional soccer clubs in the U.S. and will be competing for the US Power Soccer Open Cup. Ability360 teams in the tournament: Ability360 United, Ability360 Phoenix Rising Power Soccer FC. Other teams are from California, Minnesota. New York and Texas.
Games begin at 9 am each day. Champions will be crowned on Sunday.
• 2023 Goalball Invitational presented by WAYMO, January 20-22
Abiilty360 is hosting the event that is a sanctioned U.S. Association of Blind Athletes tournament. Athletes are coming from Arizona, Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York and Canada.
Competition is scheduled Friday, 12-7 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
What is Goalball?
Goalball is a team sport for athletes who are blind and/or visually impaired. All players must be legally blind and wear blacked-out eyeshades at all times to ensure fair level of competition. The game ball is about the size of a basketball and has several bells inside so athletes with visual impairments know where it is coming from. The object of the game is to get a ball past the opposing team and into their net by hurling it from one end of the court to the other. Teams are made up of six players, with three members playing at any one time. Audience members must remain absolutely quiet during the game until the referee allows for noise. The game dates back to World War II as a way to rehabilitate veterans who became blind and keep them active. Goalball was the first Paralympics team sport for athletes with vision impairments 75 years ago when it was officially inducted at Toronto 1976. String is taped to the markings on the court to allow players to feel the lines and orient themselves.
Teams are: 360 Phoenix Wheelchair Suns, Golden State Warriors (Bay Area, California), Mary Free Bed Pacers (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Utah Wheelin’ Jazz, WWAR Generals (Tampa, Fla.), CK Rolling Timberwolves (Minnesota), Rancho Halos (Southern California), Medstar Punishers (Washington, D.C.),
Games begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday and at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Teams are: 360 Phoenix Wheelchair Suns (Divisions 2 and 3),Denver Nuggets, L.A. Chairmen, Tucson Lobos, Sacramento Royals, Arizona Storm (Tucson), 360 Phoenix Mercury women’s team, Seattle Storm (women’s team), Arizona Storm (Tucson, women), 360 Phoenix Wheelchair Suns Varsity (juniors), SAAS Jr. Wildcats (Tucson, juniors), Rancho Halos (juniors).
Games begin Friday at 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
• 2023 Rugby Rave sponsored by Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Association, Barrow Neurological Institute, Bank of America, Feb. 17-19. Details to come.
For more information about Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center, visit ability360.org/sports.
• Tony Jackson, TonyJ@ability360.org
• Nick Pryor, M.S., CYSA, Program Manager – Athletics, (602) 386-4286
• Steve Carr, The Kur Carr Group, Inc., (602) 317-3040, firstname.lastname@example.org