What is boccia?

Boccia (pronounced bot-cha) is a Paralympic sport with no Olympic equivalent and is similar to bowls.  It is a target ball sport which tests both muscle control and accuracy.  Visit our what is boccia webpage for more detailed information.


Downloadable Resource card

Who can play boccia?

Originally designed for individuals with severe physical disabilities, the game has branched out to include all disabilities.  Even able-bodied people can play boccia in a social setting as long as you stick to the rules and stay seated during play.

Paralympics- To be a boccia Paralympic athletes you must be A BC1-4, which means severely physically disabled.

Boccia England competitions- We have a range of competitions for different disabilities. See our Competitions page for more details.

Socially- Anyone can play, including older persons.

Check out the range of people who we help through the game of boccia here.

How do I play boccia?

From a seated position, players propel balls to land as close as possible to a white marker ball, known as the Jack. Two sides compete as individuals, pairs or as a team of three over a set number of ends (4 for individuals and pairs, and 6 for teams).

Each side plays six balls (red or blue) each end. After each end, the athlete, pair or team with the ball closest to the jack receives 1 point plus an additional point for each ball closer to the jack than their opponent's.  Points are accumulated over the course of a match to find a winner. Although simple to get started, the tactics of the sport offer both tension and excitement as the game plays out.

Balls can be rolled down a ramp, thrown or kicked. If a player is unable to release the ball with their hands, they can use assistive devices, such as a head pointer.

For more information on the rules of the game please click here.

What Equipment do I need?

A set of boccia balls consisting of 6 red, 6 blue and 1 white Jack ball.

For players who are unable to throw or kick- a ramp (assistive device) is required. A head pointer may also be used with a ramp.

For Clubs or organisations- Officiating equipment, including a measure and a paddle (red/blue indicator).

Where can I play boccia?

The game is played on a flat, smooth surface, usually indoors, with a court the size of a badminton court:12.5 x 6m.

Most venues don't have a boccia court laid out so you can use court tape to mark out the court.

Measurement Guidelines:

Wide tape for exterior lines, throwing line and V line

Thin tape for throwing box dividers and the 25cm x 25cm cross

6 meter lines: from the inside of the side lines

12.5 meters side lines: from inside of the front line and inside of the back line

10 meters: from inside the front line to the back of the throwing line

5 meters: from inside the front line to the center of the cross

3 meters: from inside the side line to the center of the cross

3 meters: from the back of the throwing line to the front of the V line

1.5 meters: from the back of the throwing line to the front vertex of the V line

2.5 meters: from inside the back line to inside (which is also the back) of the throwing line 1 meter box lines: evenly spread over either side of the meter marks.

When can I play boccia?

As boccia is an indoor sport you can play whenever you like!

Boccia England competitions take place from October- July.

Why play boccia?

Boccia is proven to not only provide and aid physical activity but it also is proving to improve mental strength. Read more about how boccia helps people in our impact section.