Boccia balls


“Refined from an ancient Greek game...”

London 2012 - Boccia 87
London 2012 - Boccia

Comparable to the French boules game of pétanque, the aim of Boccia is to throw a set of colored balls as close to the jack as possible. The sport was refined from an ancient Greek game in Italy in the 16th century, and developed specifically for athletes with a high level of impairment. It therefore has no counterpart in the Olympic Games.

Boccia made its Paralympic Games debut at New York, 1984, and is now practiced at an elite level in 50 countries worldwide.

At the Paralympic Games men and women compete together in teams, pairs and individual events.

They are grouped in four classifications:

  • BC1 comprises athletes with cerebral palsy who are able to project the ball once it is placed in their hand by an aide.
  • BC2 includes athletes with cerebral palsy who have a lower level of impairment compared to BC1 athletes and who do not require an aide.
  • BC3 athletes have the highest level of impairment and cannot grasp or release the ball. They therefore play with an assistant and the use of a ramp to project the ball.
  • BC4 is for players who do not have cerebral palsy but have a similar functional ability to BC1 and BC2 athletes. These athletes do not compete with an aide.

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