When you think about Paralympics, one often wonders how the various sports can be adapted to suit the needs of the people that tend to participate in Paralympic events. Boccia is a sport that has been adapted in such a way that it is specialized for the purpose of Paralympic events, so much so that it is one of the fastest growing Paralympic sports in the world in terms of the number of people that opt to play the game each and every year. One of the most intriguing aspects of Boccia is the fact that abled and differently abled people can both participate in it, making it a great unifier in terms of sports.
The first thing you need to understand about Boccia is that it can be played by individuals or groups of two or three people. The sport is generally played in a mixed gender environment which is quite interesting when you think about the fact that so many of the sports that we tend to play on a regular basis are segregated for one reason or another, so the inclusivity of this particular sport is something that is truly admirable.
You play the game using leather balls that are colored red and blue, and the goal is to throw these balls towards the “jack” which is a term that is used to refer to the white target toward which these balls tend to be aimed. These balls are special because of the fact that they are made to be as easy to grip as possible, and they can be propelled through other means as well. According to the rules of the game, you can propel the ball using your hands, feet or even your head so it is a bit like football with less rules about how you can touch the ball.
You might now be wondering how players that are unable to use their hands, feet or head to propel the ball can be facilitated in this game. Well, for players that are disabled to this extent, the general rule is that they end up receiving a ramp of some sort that would make it easier for them to propel the ball.
The way the game works is the jack is thrown in a certain direction following which the various players or teams attempt to aim at it and propel balls towards it. An intriguing aspect of the game is the fact that the balls that are already present on the court can be aimed at to move them closer to the jack. A point counts if an already placed ball is moved closer to the jack which helps make it easier to score points.
All in all, Boccia seems like an incredibly accessible game that can level the playing field so to speak when it comes to the various people that are trying to get into the world of sports in spite of the disabilities they suffer from.