Boccia is a disability sport that tests muscle control and accuracy. It is a sport designed for athletes with high support needs and has no Olympic equivalent. It is a target sport played indoors with soft leather balls. It is a sport of intriguing tactics, incredible skill and nail biting tension. Once you see it or play it you will be hooked!
Players propel balls to land close to a target ball. Two sides compete as individuals, pairs or as a team of three over a set number of ends. Each side has six balls (red or blue) each end to try and score points. Points are accumulated over the course of a match to find a winner. The sport is played indoors on a 12.5m by 6m court, usually in a sports hall but any suitable flat playing area can be used.
It is easy to get started, but the tactics of the sport offer both tension and excitement as the game plays out. A ball can be rolled, thrown or kicked. If a player is unable to throw or kick the ball, they can use a ramp. If players are unable to release the ball with their hands, they can use assistive devices – head/hand pointer.
To find out more about the competitions in England, the classification for boccia, coaching, officiating and other ways to get involved in the sport have a look at the Boccia England website.
Boccia England is a registered charity and the National Governing Body (NGB) for boccia in England, who believe playing boccia changes lives!
The United Kingdom Boccia Federation (Boccia UK) is the National Governing Body for the Paralympic sport of Boccia in the UK. Boccia UK’s primary role is running the World Class Programme (WCP) and is funded by UK Sport for that purpose. Boccia UK is responsible for sending players to Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed) sanctioned international competitions to qualify teams, pairs and individuals to represent Great Britain at the Paralympic Games.
David Smith and Paralympics GB in action at the 2008 Games (Photo: Graham Bool)
If you are currently not active, have a look at how you can start:View all wheelchair sports