The basics of boccia

Similar to curling or lawn bowling, boccia is a co-ed sport of control and accuracy. It is a complex and technical game requiring physical coordination and mental strategy. Here is a quick overview from Boccia Canada:

B is for BALL

In boccia, players propel softball-sized leather balls toward a white target ball (or “jack”). Each team puts six balls in play per round (or “end”). Once all 12 balls are thrown, players receive a point for each ball that is closer to the jack than the opponents’ balls. The team withe most points wins.

O is for ON THE 150 PLAY LIST

Boccia landed at number 84 on the ParticipACTION 150 Play List because the sport was first introduced at the Paralympics in 1984. Paralympic boccia is open to male and female athletes with locomotive disabilities of a cerebral or non-cerebral origin.


Originally designed for people with severe cerebral palsy, boccia is now enjoyed by players with a wide variety of disabilities. It’s easy for a beginner to pick up quickly, but it becomes more complicated as players hone their skills.

C is for COURT

Boccia is played indoors on a flat, smooth surface about the size of a badminton court. Because teams can be made up of one, two or three players, the court includes six throwing boxes where athletes must remain during their turn. A typical match has four ends.


Boccia (pronounced “boch-cha”) is an Italian word meaning “to bowl.” The sport has roots in Greece where players threw stones at a target. It was also played in marketplaces and streets during the Middle Ages.


Boccia is a Paralympic sport that can be played by anyone, with or without a disability. It can be played from a seated or standing position. The ball may be thrown, rolled, kicked, or sent toward the target using a ramp as an assistive device.

The Boccia Canada website has more information about the sport, along with blog entries by Giovanni De Sero, a Canadian boccia athlete who intends to try as many 150 Play List activities as possible.