Parapan 101: Boccia


Boccia is a sport that was originally created for individual with cerebral palsy. Individuals with physical disabilities now contest it at all levels. It officially became a Paralympic sport in 1984. It has been practised in over 50 countries worldwide since 2008.

Boccia can be played individually or in teams of three. When played in teams, the team consists of both men and women.  The goal of the game is to throw leather balls, coloured red or blue closest to a target ball, which is also called a jack. The jack is thrown first. Then the first two leather balls are played. The team who threw the jack goes first. Whoever is further from the jack goes next. The objective is to get closest to the jack or to knock your opponents ball further away.


Results from 2011 Parapan Am Games

Event                  Individual BC1

Gold           Eduardo Ventura Mexico (MEX)

Silver          Eliana Henao Columbia (COL)

Bronze        Jose Carlos Chagas Brazil (BRA)

Event                  Individual BC2

Gold           Adam Dukovich Canada (CAN)

Silver          Pablo Cortez Argentina (ARG)

Bronze        Dave Richer Canada (CAN)

Event                  Individual BC3

Gold           Paul Gauthier Canada (CAN)

Silver          Maria Belen Ruiz Argentina (ARG)

Bronze        Clodoaldo Massardi Brazil (BRA)

Event                  Individual BC4

Gold           Fabio Moraes Brazil (BRA)

Silver          Marco Dispaltro Canada (CAN)

Bronze        Josh Vandervies Canada (CAN)

Click here for more results.


Sport Classes

There are four physical impairment sports classes in boccia: BC1–4. All players compete in wheelchairs due to a loss of leg function and trunk stability caused by a lack of muscle coordination and control.

Athletes in this class have severe activity limitations that affect their legs, arms and trunk due to coordination impairments. They can grasp and throw the ball and do not use assistive devices. Athletes with some leg control are allowed to propel the ball with their foot.

Boccia players in class BC2 have more trunk control and arm function than those in BC1 and BC3. Their arm and hand function often allows them to throw the ball overhand and underhand using a variety of grasps.

Athletes with significantly limited function in their arms and legs and poor or no trunk control due to cerebral or non-cerebral origin compete in the BC3 class. Unlike BC1 players, they use a ramp to roll the ball. Athletes often require assistive devices to propel the ball as they cannot consistently grasp and throw it.

Sports class BC4 comprises athletes with impairments that have no cerebral origin and that cause a loss of muscle strength or coordination. Athletes have very poor leg and trunk function but are able to grasp and throw the ball.


Venue in 2015

Abilities Centre, 55 Gordon Street, Whitby, ON

Read our other Parapan 101 articles:

Parapan 101: Goalball
Parapan 101: Wheelchair Tennis
Parapan 101: Archery

I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I am proud to be a part of this team that talks about issues regarding disability because I think it needs to be heard.


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