Sport Week: Introduction to boccia

Here is a brief overview of the sport set to make its ninth Paralympic Games appearance. 28 Mar 2016

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).

Helpful links:

IPC webpage

BISFed homepage

Rio 2016 boccia webpage

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Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.