So what is Boccia, well it’s a ball game that you throw towards a White ball to see who gets nearer the Jack (white ball) however, these balls are quite dense and do not roll very far like a normal hard type ball. So when they land they land with a little thud and may move a bit and can knock out the opponent’s ball out of play or away from the jack and hopefully score a point or more depending on the play.
Anyone can play this, it’s not just a disabled sport there are no special skills required, if you can throw a ball then you are in. For those with less movement, you can also play with special adaptations and slides that you can access from your wheelchair etc.
Yes there are some rules to make play fair, there is a ref to settle disputes as to who is nearest the Jack, and you can play it for fun or go all the way up to the Olympic level as is an offical sport since 1984
Here are the basics from the Boccia UK Website for more details
- Boccia (pronounced ‘Bot-cha’) is a Paralympic sport introduced in 1984
- It has no Olympic counterpart
- Athletes throw, kick or use a ramp to propel a ball onto the court with the aim of getting closest to a ‘jack’ ball
- It is designed specifically for athletes with a disability affecting locomotor function
- It is played indoors on a court similar in size to a badminton court
- The aim of the game is to get closer to the jack than your opponent
- The jack ball is white and is thrown first
- One side has six red balls and the other has six blue balls
- The balls are leather containing plastic granules so they don’t bounce but will still roll
- The side whose ball is not closest to the jack throws until they get a ball closest or until they run out of balls
- Once all the balls have been thrown one side receives points for every ball they have closer to the jack than their opponent’s closest ball
It is played all around the UK and more info and your local group can be found here https://boccia.uk.com/about-boccia
Here are some people playing it at my local group in Staines, Middlesex near London.
Please note the image below was not a setup it actually happened during a play, on the court behind me and I had to photograph it as it is quite unique so I am told.