Boccia

Last updated
Boccia
Paralympics Beijing 2008 286.JPG
Highest governing body BISFed
Characteristics
Mixed gender Yes
TypeOutdoor or Indoor
Presence
Paralympic Present since the 1984 Paralympics
People trying out Boccia in Japan, 2019

Boccia ( /ˈbɒə/ BOTCH) is a precision ball sport, similar to bocce, and related to bowls and pétanque. The name "boccia" is derived from the Latin word for "boss" bottia. [1] The sport is contested at local, national and international levels, by athletes with severe physical disabilities. It was originally designed to be played by people with cerebral palsy but now includes athletes with other severe disabilities affecting motor skills. In 1984, it became a Paralympic sport and in 2020 has 75 national sport organizations countries worldwide. [2] Boccia is governed by the Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed) and is one of only two Paralympic sports (along with goalball) that have no counterpart in the Olympic program.

Contents

About the game

Boccia can be played by individuals, pairs, or teams of three. All events are mixed gender. The aim of the game is to throw leather balls — coloured red or blue (which side uses which is determined by a coin toss) as close as they can to a white target ball, or jack. The jack is thrown first, then the first two regular balls are played (first, the player who threw the jack then the opposing side), after which the side furthest away from the jack goes next in an attempt to either get closer to the jack or knock the opposition's ball out of the way. In this fashion, each end will continue until one side has played all their balls, at which point, the opposing side will play their remaining balls. The balls can be moved with hands, feet, or, if the competitor's disability is severe, with an assistive device such as a ramp. At the end of each round, or end, the referee measures the distance of the balls closest to the jack, and awards points accordingly — one point for each ball that is closer to the jack than the opponent's closest ball. The team/player with the highest number of points at the end of play is the winner. If both teams have the same number of points after all ends have been played, one additional end is played to determine a winner.

The number of ends and balls in each end depends on the side makeup. Individual competition consists of four ends and six balls per player per end, whilst paired competition is four ends and six balls per pair per end (three per player). Team competition is six ends, and six balls per team per end (two per player).

In pair and team events, a reserve player is allowed. Between ends a reserve can be substituted for a player during a game, but only one substitution per game is permitted. [3]

Boccia is played on a court measuring 12.5 × 6 m with 2 m of empty, in-bounds, playable space around it. The surface of the court is flat and smooth—typically a converted wooden basketball and/or volleyball court but sometimes a hard turf surface flooring. The throwing area is divided into six rectangular throwing boxes in which the athletes must stay completely within during play. On the court is a V-shaped line over which the jack must cross for the throw to be valid. At the end of the court is the ‘dead ball container’ in which balls are put if they are thrown outside the time limit, out of the area of play or if the athlete violates a rule during his or her throw. A cross marks the position where the jack must be placed if it touches or crosses the boundary line or in the case of a tie-break. The balls themselves are made of leather and are slightly larger than a tennis ball, weighing approximately 275 grams and measuring 270 mm in circumference. They are available in different grades of softness and hardness and are selected purposefully to execute desired strategies within a match.

Classification

Norway's Roger Aandalen (blue/white) vs Japan's Takayuki Hirose (red) at the 2008 Paralympics. Paralympics Beijing 2008 506.JPG
Norway's Roger Aandalen (blue/white) vs Japan's Takayuki Hirose (red) at the 2008 Paralympics.

To be eligible to compete in boccia at national or international level, athletes must have a disability and be in a wheelchair, as a result of cerebral palsy, or another neurological condition that has similar effects, such as muscular dystrophy or traumatic brain injury. Players are examined to determine the extent of their disability and then assigned to a sport class, designed to allow them to compete against other athletes with a similar level of physical function.

Boccia players are assigned to one of four sport classes, depending on their functional ability:

Competition

Boccia can be played on a recreational and/or competitive basis. Competitions are organized locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. The international competition calendar is based on the Summer Paralympic Games quadrennial, with international regional championships in the first year, world championships in the second year, world cup in the third year, and the Paralympic games in the fourth year.

There are approximately 350 internationally ranked boccia players. [5]

179 athletes from 24 countries and regions attended the 2007 Boccia World Cup during May 9–19, 2007 in Vancouver, BC, Canada [6] for their last opportunity for classification and achieve international ranking for the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing. [7]

88 athletes from 19 countries competed at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing held 7 to 17 September. Brazil and Korea were ranked first equal over all, both countries finishing with two gold medals and one bronze medal each. [8]

Athletes from 36 countries attended the 2010 Boccia World Championships, and 28 countries participated in the team competition. The balance of power in recent years has shifted from European dominance to a more worldwide competitiveness with Brazil leading the BC4s and Korea the BC3s. The dominant force of the Mixed Team has only recently changed hands from GB to Korea but the former power houses Spain and Portugal can never be ruled out.

Related Research Articles

Bocce Ball sport

Bocce, sometimes anglicized as bocce ball, bocci or boccie, is a ball sport belonging to the boules family, closely related to British bowls and French pétanque, with a common ancestry from ancient games played in the Roman Empire. Developed into its present form in Italy, bocce is played around Europe and also in other areas with Italian immigrants, including Australia, North America, and South America, principally Argentina and Rio Grande do Sul. Initially played only by the Italian immigrants, the game has slowly become more popular with their descendants and more broadly.

Paralympic football consists of adaptations of the sport of association football for athletes with a physical disability. These sports are typically played using International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) rules, with modifications to the field of play, equipment, numbers of players, and other rules as required to make the game suitable for the athletes.

Boccia at the 2008 Summer Paralympics

Boccia at the 2008 Summer Paralympics consisted of seven events. The competitions were held in the Beijing National Convention Center from September 7 to September 12.

Summer Paralympic Games

The Summer Paralympics also known as the Games of the Paralympiad, are an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. The Paralympic Games are held every four years, organized by the International Paralympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that the Olympic Games started in 1904.

Boccia at the Summer Paralympics

Boccia has been contested at the Summer Paralympics since the 1984 Games in New York City and Stoke Mandeville. Five boccia events were held at those games, two for men, two for women, and one mixed event where men and women competed together. Since then, all boccia events at the Paralympics have been mixed. Athletes in this sport have cerebral palsy and are given a classification according to the extent of their disability. There were originally two classes, C1 and C2, with C1 corresponding to those with more severe impairment. In 1996 a "C1 with aid device" class was added, and in 2000 the system was changed to have four classes, BC1 through BC4.

Boccia at the 2012 Summer Paralympics

Boccia at the 2012 Summer Paralympics was held in the ExCeL from 2 September to 8 September, with a maximum of 104 athletes competing in seven events. There were four individual events, two pair events, and one team event.

Tom Leahy is a paralympic athlete from Ireland competing mainly in category BC2 Boccia events and F32 throwing events. Leahy competed in eight Paralympic Games. He won three Paralympic gold medals, three silver medals, and two bronze medals.

BC1 is a Paralympic boccia classification. The class is open to people with several different types of disabilities, including cerebral palsy. BC1 players have events open to them in boccia on the Paralympic Games program.

BC2 is a Paralympic boccia classification. The class is open to people with several different types of disabilities, including cerebral palsy. BC2 players have events open to them in boccia on the Paralympic Games program.

BC3 is a Paralympic boccia classification. The class is open to people with several different types of disabilities, including cerebral palsy. BC3 players have events open to them in boccia on the Paralympic Games program.

BC4 is a Paralympic boccia classification.

Boccia classification is the classification system governing boccia, a sport designed specifically for people with disabilities. Classification is handled by Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association. There are four classifications for this sport. All four classes are eligible to compete at the Paralympic Games.

Thailand at the 2016 Summer Paralympics Sporting event delegation

Thailand competed at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 7 September to 18 September 2016.

Boccia at the 2016 Summer Paralympics

Boccia at the 2016 Summer Paralympics was held in Riocentro, in the Barra district of Rio de Janeiro in September 2016, with a maximum of 104 athletes competing in seven events. The programme consisted of four individual events, two pairs events, and one team event, spread across four classifications.

South Korea at the 2016 Summer Paralympics Sporting event delegation

South Korea competed at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 7 to 18 September 2016.

Slovakia at the 2016 Summer Paralympics Sporting event delegation

Slovakia competed at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 7 to 18 September 2016.

Daniel Michel Australian boccia player (born 1995)

Daniel Michel is an Australian boccia player. He represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

CP1 is a disability sport classification specific to cerebral palsy. In many sports, it is grouped inside other classifications to allow people with cerebral palsy to compete against people with other different disabilities but the same level of functionality. CP1 classified competitors are the group who are most physically affected by their cerebral palsy. They are quadriplegics.

CP2 is a disability sport classification specific to cerebral palsy. In many sports, it is grouped inside other classifications to allow people with cerebral palsy to compete against people with other different disabilities but the same level of functionality. People in this class tend to use electric wheelchairs and are quadriplegic. CP2 competitors have better upper body control when compared to CP1.

Qualification for boccia at the 2020 Summer Paralympics begin from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2019. There are seven mixed events where 82 quotas are gender free and 34 are for females to make a total of 116 athletes.

References

  1. History of Bocce [ dead link ]
  2. "Boccia | IPC". Paralympic.org. Archived from the original on 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
  3. "Boccia New Zealand — Boccia New Zealand". Boccia.org.nz. Archived from the original on 2004-12-11. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 16, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 21, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ,Retrieved 2013-05-25 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. "Boccia — The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games". En.paralympic.beijing2008.cn. Archived from the original on 2008-06-03. Retrieved 2013-05-25.