This past weekend, Portland State’s Adaptive Rec department and an army of over 25 volunteer workers from the university aided in hosting the first annual Cascade Classic Pacific Northwest Goalball Tournament.
This past weekend, Portland State’s Adaptive Rec department and an army of over 25 volunteer workers from the university aided in hosting the first annual Cascade Classic Pacific Northwest Goalball Tournament. The event was held at the Washington State School for the Blind, just over the river in Vancouver, Wash. The Vanguard caught up with Adaptive Rec’s coordinator, Jen Armbruster, to get all the details from the event and learn about this unique game.
The first question that pops into the mind of most: just what heck is goalball?
Armbruster explained, “Here it is in a nutshell: It is a three-on-three game played by athletes who are blindfolded and they are throwing a three-pound medicine ball at each other that has only a few bells in it to track the sound. It is going about 40 miles per hour and you throw your body in front of it much like a soccer goalie to defend. Then you can pass amongst your team members and you shoot to the other end of the court. The court is the same size as a volleyball court. Not much time to react. On average you are diving on the floor about 80 times a game and, if you do your job right, you will be getting hit that much as well.”
So, goalball is a lot soccer, except that players “bowl” or “pitch” the ball across a shortened playfield rather than kicking it. Players can utilize their entire body in an effort to block the other team from a scoring a goal. Of course, the best way to really learn about goalball is to come and check out the weekly game held on Saturdays at 5 p.m. at Portland State Campus Rec. All experience levels are welcome.
The goalball group only meets during the standard academic year, meaning that those who are eager to gain some firsthand experience should definitely try to make it out to catch a game sometime within the next three Saturdays. For those that don’t have Saturday
evenings free, Armbruster said there is also a short documentary film currently in the works that will prominently feature Portland State Adaptive Rec and goalball. Once finished, a video should be uploaded to the Adaptive Rec website.
Armbruster said that the first annual Cascade Classic Pacific Northwest Goalball Tournament was a big success, with 15 teams from all over the West and the Northwest coming to Vancouver to participate. There were teams from Washington, Oregon, California and Utah. One team even traveled from British Columbia, technically making the event an international competition. Not too shabby, eh?
Armbruster had words of praise and appreciation for all of the Portland State volunteers who pitched in over the weekend to help make this important first tournament not only possible but also very successful.
“The PSU community stepped up with over 25 volunteers over the course of the weekend, volunteering for a variety of jobs including goal judges, scorekeepers, timers and help serving food. Without them, the first annual Cascade Classic would not have been successful. Many thanks to everyone in the Portland State Community that helped this be a success.”
For more details regarding goalball and all the other Adaptive Rec activities, visit the Adaptive Rec site at www.pdx.edu/recreation/adaptive-rec. Adaptive Rec does a phenomenal job of making sure Portland State community members of all ability levels can stay healthy and fit, while also having a ton of fun in the process. Jen Armbruster is more than happy to answer any questions or arrange accommodations; give her a call at 503-725-2927 or drop her an e-mail at [email protected] ?