Boccia is a sport devised in Europe for those with severe cerebral palsy or with equivalently severe impairment of limb function. Players compete by throwing or rolling their six balls, coloured in red or blue, attempting to place them closest to the white jack ball (target ball). Boccia is played between two individuals, pairs, and teams of three players, with men and women competing together. Players who are unable to throw a ball with their hand due to impairment can kick a ball or roll it using a ramp with the help of an assistant. Although a ramp assistant can adjust the angle and height of the ramp according to instructions provided by a player, the assistant is forbidden from offering advice to competitors.
It is believed that boccia originated in ancient Greece, where people used to throw stones at a target. In the 6th century, rules similar to those of present-day boccia were developed in Italy. In the 20th century, with rules organised in such a way that those with severe impairment can also play, boccia spread from Europe to the world. Boccia was introduced to the public for the first time at the Stoke Mandeville & New York 1984 Paralympic Games, and has been an official sport since the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games.
Limb deficiency (primarily cerebral palsy)
As of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
Courtesy of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Bureau of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Preparation (as of January 2016)
- Olympic Gymnastic Centre