Boccia is a competitive sport, played between two athletes, pairs or teams of three people each.
Nowadays, Boccia is a sport for people with cerebral palsy or other mobility disabilities who use wheelchairs, both recreationally and competitively. The sport requires concentration, coordination, muscle control, precision, teamwork, cooperation and strategy.
The matches are held in a closed area, in which special lines are drawn that delimit the playing area. The aim of the players is to propel their leather red or blue balls as close as possible to a white target ball, called a “jack”.
The order of the players is determined by lot. The player or team that wins the toss has the right to choose whether to play with the red or blue balls.
The first round starts with the player who will play with the red balls. The player drops first the white and then a red ball. The advancement of the ball can be done by hand, foot or with the help of a device, when the players have a very large mobility restriction in the upper and lower limbs. The opponents then throw their balls, trying to reach the target ball.
At the end of each round, the closest distances to the target are measured by the referee and the score is added up to determine the winner.
There are 8 types of individual events with a male and female event for each sport category (BC1, BC2, BC3, BC4). Pairs and team events are mixed. In pairs there are two events (BC3 and BC4 pairs). In Team events there is only one type of event for BC1/BC2 sport categories together. The game consists of four rounds, in singles and pairs, and six rounds in the Team category. It is played on a court – usually with a hard floor – with lines.
Boccia includes athletes with neurological impairment (myopathy, celebral pulsy, multiple sclerosis etc) and locomotor disfunction (spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy etc).