Editor’s note: Each sport on the Rio 2016 Paralympic programme will have a dedicated week of featured content published on paralympic.org. Every week a new sport will be featured and the series will run until September’s Games, helping the public understand more about the 22 sports being contested in Rio.
Boccia is a game of strategy and accuracy that was originally designed to be played by people with cerebral palsy. Now, the sport includes athletes with impairments that affect motor skills.
The sport is played on a flat, smooth surface, where players must throw or roll coloured balls as close as possible to a white target ball, known as the “jack.” The player, pair or team with the most balls near the jack is the winner.
The individual and pair matches consist of four ends, while team matches have six ends. After each end, the athlete, pair or team with the ball closest to the jack receive one point, and an additional point for every ball that is closer to the jack than the opponent’s.
Each athlete, pair or team “throws” six balls per end.
There will be seven medal events (all mixed gender) contested at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, with four different sport classes:
Individual – BC1
Individual – BC2
Individual – BC3
Individual – BC4
Team – BC1/BC2
Pairs – BC3
Pairs – BC4
Boccia was practiced for many years as a leisure activity until it was introduced at the New York 1984 Paralympic Games as a competitive sport. It is one of only two Paralympic sports that do not have an Olympic counterpart (goalball being the other) and is governed by the Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed).