History of Boccia
Spelt B-O-C-C-I-A - but pronounced “Botcha”, it’s organised worldwide by CP-ISRA. This is the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association, which was founded in 1978.
CP Sport, is a national charitable organisation based in Nottingham, whose aim is to provide sporting opportunities for those with cerebral palsy. Boccia was introduced into the UK in the early 1980s.
It’s thought the game originated in Greece with competitors tossing large stones at a stone target. When it came to the UK, boccia was solely designed as a sport for those with severe cerebral palsy. It has now developed into a game played by many sections of the community - and from a purely recreational level up to the intensely competitive Paralympics. The rules of Boccia are determined by CP-ISRA and are reviewed every four years, usually just after the Paralympics.
For the elite competitors playing at international level, the Boccia world follows a four-year cycle. Each year sees a major international event, year 1 being the European Championships, followed by the World Championships, and then comes the World Cup and the final year of the cycle sees the Paralympics holding centre stage.
The aim of the game is to propel a set of coloured balls and position them closer to a white ‘marker’ ball than those of your opponent. This white ball is called the ‘jack’ Hence the game is similar in context to Bowls, Petanque or even French Boules.
The game can be played either individually (one v one using 6 balls each), in pairs (two v two using 3 balls each) or as a team activity (three v three using 2 balls each).
Copyright - CP Sport for more information please visit www.cpsport.org/boccia