Three key goalball events have been given hosts ©Getty Images

The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) has announced the hosts for three major goalball tournaments in 2019.

Chiba in Japan will stage the Asia/Pacific Championships between December 2 and 11, just eight months before the country hosts the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

This will be a key event as the winners will earn their place in Tokyo, with eight men's and six women's teams set to compete.

IBSA have also awarded the 2019 Youth World Championships to Penrith in Australia.

Sixteen girls' and boys' sides will be in action from August 2 to 10. 

Also awarded is the 2019 IBSA Goalball European Championships C which will be staged in L'Aquila in Italy from October 27 to November 3.

Medallists will be promoted to the B Championships for 2020.

Kari Rasanen, chairperson of the IBSA Goalball Committee, said: "2019 will be an exciting year and we are pleased to confirm these additions to the calendar.

Paralympic qualification will be the key focus for goalball in 2019 ©Getty Images
Paralympic qualification will be the key focus for goalball in 2019 ©Getty Images

"The Youth World Championships in particular are an important milestone for goalball. 

"We know the interest and need is out there for another high level competition for young players, so we hope that it is well supported.

"The most anticipated event however will be the Asia/Pacific Championships. 

"What better place to host a tournament of this importance than in the host country of the next Paralympics?

"We look forward to using the opportunity to welcome lots of new fans to the sport.

"I would like to thank all the Local Organising Committees for their work in delivering what I am sure will be excellent events."

Next year will also see the IBSA Goalball and Judo Qualification Tournament for Tokyo 2020 in Fort Wayne in the United States.

The European Championships will be held in Rostock in Germany and will also offer places at the Paralympics.