The Paralympics is made up of lots of different spots that have all been tailored or designed to suit the abilities of those with disabilities as well as those without. However, some sports in the Paralympics are not included in the Olympics counterpart; one of those sports is Boccia.

You may have never heard of this sport, so we are here to tell you all about it:


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What Is Boccia?

Though the Paralympics started in 1960, Boccia (pronounced 'Bot-cha') wasn't introduced until 1984. It is one of the few sports that isn't included in the Olympics and is reserved only for the Paralympics. The word Boccia comes from the Italian "bowl" and is often referred to as bowls or bocce as well as boccia. When it was originally designed, it was for people with Cerebral Palsy. As the game developed it soon became clear it could be played by any athlete whose disabilities affected their locomotor function.

Boccia is an indoor sport, often played on a court and athletes are required to throw, kick or use a ramp to launch a ball out onto the court and get it as close to the 'jack' or white ball as possible. Two teams will compete, one with 6 red balls and one with 6 blue. The balls are specially designed to contain plastic granules so that they roll but don't bounce.

How To Play

Boccia game being played and the layout of the balls

When it comes to playing Boccia, the aim is to make sure that your team's ball is closest to the jack. The jack will be a white ball, and this is thrown out onto the court first to determine where the athletes must aim. The team that threw the jack will go first, and then the opposing team will throw. The side whose ball is not closest throws again. They keep throwing until they either become the closest, so they swap over, or they run out of balls.

Once all 12 balls have been thrown, the team closest to the jack receives a point for every ball they have nearer than the opposing team's closest ball. Each set that is played is called an end, and a match is made up of a number of ends. At the end of the overall match, the team with the most points wins.


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