Get to Know: Boccia

Get your eye in with the brilliant Paralympic sport of boccia.

We’re starting to blog about topics that may not directly relate to the goings on here at Keen2Go, with a view to shining a light on issues and subjects we’re passionate about.

Disability sport is one such subject and where better to get the ball rolling than with the brilliant game of boccia!

© Sport the library/Jeff Crow

What is boccia?

Boccia (bot-cha) is the fastest growing disability sport in the world. Introduced to the Paralympics at the New York games in 1984, it is now enjoyed by players from over 50 different countries – with 108 athletes taking to the floor at Rio 2016.

It is a precision ball sport, similar to bowls, that can be played by individuals with a range of physical disabilities, having originally been designed to be played by people with cerebral palsy. The balls may be moved with hands, feet or with an assistive device such as a ramp; allowing mixed ability groups to enjoy a good game together.

And National Boccia Day is this month! So read up, get yourself set and find yourself a suitable surface ready for the 27th September.

So, what’s so good about it?

Well here’s five great reasons to get you started:

1. Anyone can play

Boccia can be enjoyed by people of all ages and physical impairments, and men, women, boys and girls all compete on equal terms. You can use assistive devices such as ramps and head pointers and people with varying levels of impairment can face off against one another.

It’s a sociable and fun game that can be played at a highly competitive level – whether you’re up for a game and a giggle or striving for sporting excellence, there’s a place for you with boccia.

2. You can play anywhere

All you need is a flat surface and you’re ready to roll. The regulation court is a similar size to that of Badminton, but there’s no harm in shaving a little off to fit it where you please. Boccia can be played indoors or outdoors, in leisure centres or parks, and is quick and easy to set up.  

3. It’s easy to learn, but hard to master

Like all great games, Boccia is a simple game on the face of it, but as players progress, the tactics become more evident and more important. The sport is easy to pick up for beginners, but it takes years to master the precision and control needed for Paralympic gold. Where would the fun be otherwise?  

4. You could become part of a great community

Boccia is one of the fastest growing Paralympic sports, with clubs and leagues growing all over the world – and the wave has definitely hit these shores!

There are now boccia clubs up and down the length of the country – with 13 registered clubs within 25 miles of Keen2Go HQ. There is a wonderful camaraderie between clubs and a burgeoning online community. Find your place with your local club below.

5. It’s really fun!

Don’t take our word for it. Don’t take the word of the thousands of people playing around the world. Learn the rules and get involved!

How do you play?

Check out this brilliant video from Boccia UK:

How can I get involved?

Search for your local club over at Boccia England’s ‘Find a club’ page here.

Where can I find more information?

There are loads of cracking resources out there. Here’s some great places to start:

Boccia England

Boccia UK

Paralympics GB Boccia

London Youth Games: Why Boccia?

Check out the awesome boccia highlights from London 2012

While you’re here, why not take a peak at our article on the fast and furious sport of goalball – Get to Know: Goalball

We may be small, but we’re keen to help!

Please get in contact via @TogBlogUK to see if we can help raise awareness for your organisation/initiative or help share your story.

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