What’s it all about?
Boccia was originally 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 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).
The game MUST be played from a seated position, which makes it ideal for either manual or motorised wheelchair users.
Firstly, a set of 13 Boccia balls, 6 red, 6 blue and 1 white Jack ball. You also need an area in which to play, and for competitive Boccia, this area is similar in size to a badminton court, being 12.5 by 6 metres. The surface must be flat and smooth, and is usually wooden, tiled or blocked.
One of the good things about this game is that the court size can be adapted to meet all circumstances, in that any area from a front room, church hall, canteen, gymnasium or leisure centre could be a suitable venue.
Our Sport – Boccia England:
Kent Boccia Centre – this is held once a month, at Valence School Sports College near Westerham. The Centre is open to individual players and is aimed at those who can already play Boccia at a basic level but who wish to go on to competition at regional’s, nationals or beyond. Players will be coached by John Chapman, our Kent Associate Officer for Boccia and experienced staff from Valence Sports College.