Boccia was initially developed to be played by people who have cerebral palsy. It was launched in 1984 during the Paralympic Games. Athletes with disabilities such as ataxia, limb deficiency, hypertonia, athetosis, muscle power impairment, and impaired movement are the ones who can play Boccia.
The difference with the shuffleboard rules is that the players are required to compete while in their wheelchairs. The players can compete at the local level, national or even international level. A ramp is used as an assistive device in playing Boccia. The sport requires one to increase their focus, concentration and control their muscles.
It has four sports classes that include:
Class BC1-it includes players who can throw a ball using their foot without the need for a supportive device . Their legs, arms, and trunk are limited to do some of the activities. A ramp assistant can be called upon if any assistance is needed.
Class BC2-in this class, the athlete, can have better control of their trunk and arm. They can propel a ball using their hand. The player does not require any assistance.
Class BC3-the athlete has no control on their trunk, legs or arms. They need a device that will assist them to throw a ball. A ramp assistant will position the ball and the ramp depending on the player’s preferences.
Class BC4-this class consists of players who do not have cerebral palsy but have weak arms and legs. Their muscle does not have enough strength, but they can hold and throw a ball. No need for assistance when the game is being played.
How is Boccia played?
This sport is fun and very enjoyable to play. You can play it in teams consisting of 3 members, in pairs or individuals. The game aims to propel red or blue balls to a smooth hard surface with the size of 12.5 m long and 6 m wide, using your hand or feet to reach a white ball. If your ball is near the white ball, then you become the winner
For those playing as individuals or pairs the game has four ends, and six ends for those playing as teams. The white target ball is referred to as the jack. Every player is entitled to 6 balls either red or blue. You are given the opportunity to throw your ball and be the closest one to the jack. The closer your ball is to the jack the more points you earn and if your ball appears to be close to the jack than that of your opponent you get an added point.
The game ends after all the six balls have been thrown. The team with the highest number of points gets to win.
You can either be a coach, supporter, team manager or be a volunteer in this sport. Being disabled does not make you unable to do something. Discover an activity in your area that will enable you to be physically fit. Boccia is one of the sports you should try out; it will help socialize and also have more friends.