The schedule has been released for the biggest adapted sporting event this summer! Last January, the Federation Internationale de Powerchair Football Association awarded the United States the World Cup. Since then, a lot of fundraising has taken place in preparation for this summer. With the schedule release, the World Cup is just under 130 days away!
On February 23, the Draw was held at the U.S. Soccer headquarters in Chicago to determine the seedings and the two pools, with the United States being the number one seed. The two pools align like this: in Pool A, we have the United States, Denmark, Japan, Argentina, and Uruguay. In Pool B, there is England, Ireland, France, Canada, and Australia. Each team will get four games in pool play, with the last two days of the event being the knockout rounds. “Pack your sunscreen, pack your sunglasses, and be prepared to witness the most beautiful game on earth,” said Karen Russo of the United States Power Soccer Association (USPSA) at the announcement.
Power Soccer, which the sport is called in America, is an adaptive sport for youth and adults who need wheelchair assistance most or all of the time. The game has two 20-minute halves, with two 5-minute overtimes if necessary. Two teams of four players try to maneuver, pass, and shoot a 13-inch ball with metal guards between goal posts. There are certain rules that make the game fair for athletes, although they can be controversial at times.
The World Cup will be held at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida, which holds up to 8,000 spectators, from July 5 – 9, 2017. The first game will kick off July 5 at 7:30pm CT with the United States taking on Denmark. According to Russo, the World Cup will be televised on Livestream via Power Soccer Shop, fipfaworldcup.org, and via the USPSA website. Additionally, there has been some push to get NBC to cover this event, although no breakthrough has occurred yet. More broadcast info will be made available in the coming months and we will definitely pass it along.
Written by: Michael L. Sack