Boccia: All you need to know for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016

Boccia: All you need to know for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016

Learn a little more about boccia, Paralympic sport in Rio 2016 Paralympics Games

Marcello Neves

The boccia is a paralympic sport that had its debut in the Paralympic program in New York / Stoke Mandeville 1984. However, many do not even know this sport, and with the Rio games approaching, the Vavel Brazil tells a little about this modality.

The beginning

The precise year of the creation of this sport is uncertain. It is estimated that the boccia originated in Ancient Greece, with contestants throwing large stones at a target rock. The sport has been transformed in Italy of the sixteenth century, and since then, its popularity has spread worldwide. In Brazil, boccia landed with Italian immigrants. This sport requires the combination of control accuracy and concentration.

About the modality

The boccia is a mixed modality, with individual competitions, in pairs and in teams and have the common goal to launch colored balls as close as possible to the target ball or white ball, known as jack in other countries. The winner is who put more balls near the ball-target. In the case of athletes with a greater degree of commitment, it is allowed to use a gutter to give more propulsion to the ball. Tetraplegic, for example, who can not move his arms or legs, using a band or helmet on the head with a needle on the tip. The ‘calheiro’ positions the channel in front of him so he push the ball down with the instrument in the head.

The disputes are divided into parts where the coin toss determines who will play with the red balls or blue. Red balls start the first part, and the competitors have the right to have six balls each. In the individual and doublés events are four partial per game, as the competition for teams are performed six partial per game. In Rio 2016 are seven trials, between individual disputes, doubles and teams.

Since 2008, the Brazilian Dirceu Pinto mastered the BC4 class in boccia. The athlete has four golds Paralympics (in individual and in pairs, both Beijing 2008 and London in 2012), and two world titles - both in the World 2010 in Lisbon (Portugal).


The athletes are classified as CP1 (most severe deficiency) or CP2 and divided into four classes:

BC1: CP1 or CP2 athletes with cerebral palsy that can compete with the aid of helpers;

BC2: CP2 athletes with cerebral palsy who can not receive assistance;

BC3: Athletes with very severe disabilities and using an auxiliary instrument and can be helped by someone else;

BC4: Athletes with other severe disabilities, but who do not receive assistance.