Why Boccia is The Most Accessible Game in The World

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Boccia is a game that is quickly becoming extremely popular around the world for a wide variety of reasons, one of the most important of these reasons being the fact that you can play it even if you suffer from some kind of disability that could potentially prevent you from using every part of your body with the sort of strength and agility that the average person might be able to muster on any given day. You can see why this game is so accessible when you start to understand the history behind it and why it was made in the first place.

The game was initially created to be played by people that suffered from cerebral palsy. This is an affliction that can make it quite difficult or even borderline impossible for you to move your hands and feet with any reasonable amount of speed and agility, so people that were afflicted with this particular kind of disorder often found that playing sports and games was the sort of thing that was pretty much out of their reach until and unless special considerations were made with them in mind.

This is where Boccia comes in. The sport gives you a lot of leeway when it comes to how you propel the ball forward. You can throw it, toss it, kick it, head butt it and the game even has provisions for people that might not be able to do these things as well. There is a ramp that can allow players to aim their balls in specific directions as long as they are able to hold the balls in the first place, and there are people that can help them aim the ramp in their chosen direction.

Boccia is so inclusive and accessible that it makes provisions for people that can’t hold balls either. There are pointers that they can use as well. All of that being said, a common misconception surrounding boccia has to do with the fact that the game is ridiculously easy to play. This is mostly thought of because of the fact that people think that a game that has been made for people with physical disabilities is not going to pose that much of a challenge for those individuals that possess complete control over their bodies.

However, the truth of the matter is that Boccia does require you to use your head and to think about the strategies that you are going to implement in order to achieve the necessary goals. There are a lot of able bodied people out there that get trounced by professional Boccia players that are differently abled! The sport has been a part of the Paralympics for well over two decades now, and has an international governing body that is referred to as the Boccia International Sport Federation. The sport is growing thanks to how inclusive it is, so it is important to learn as much about it as possible.

How Boccia Became What It is Today

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If you have ever followed the Paralympics to any serious extent, you would probably know a thing or two about a sport known as Boccia. It is one of the fastest growing sports in the world especially when you look at people that suffer problems with their limbs or other disabilities that prohibit free and fast movement. This is because of the fact that it has been designed for people that suffer from severe physical disabilities. In many ways Boccia is a miracle of modern sporting science. It is a way for people that barely have any control over their bodies to not just play a game but to excel in it, make a career out of it and compete with other people in a way that would give them a legitimate amount of respect from the people around them.

The sport is a part of the Paralympics, and has been a regular feature in that particular event since it debuted in the year 1984. The debut was made in a city that is often referred to as the capital of the world, none other than New York City itself. What’s truly amazing is that in this debut it was already clear that Boccia was a force to be reckoned with, a sport that could potentially change the way people with severe physical disabilities approached the world around them. One could see that from the fact that nineteen people participated in the first Boccia competition conducted in the Paralympics, and these players came from five different countries. Judging by this alone, one can see that Boccia was already an incredibly international enterprise even in 1984 when it was first included in the Paralympics.

From there, the sport had nowhere to go but up. Boccia is now played in no less than fifty countries around the world and has truly become a global sport that a lot of players have actually been able to make careers out of. The truly incredible thing about Boccia is that it is not an adaptation of some Olympic sport that was made out of pity for the disabled community. Much on the contrary, it is a sport made by the community for the community and does not have any counterpart in the Olympics. It is one of just two sports that manages to have this distinction.

There are a lot of prominent Boccia players out there that have made names for themselves. A good example of such players is Nigel Murray, a British legend who has been crowned national Boccia champion no less than twelve times! He has also received four medals at the Paralympics, proving that there is a lot of success to be had within this game. Eliseu Dos Santos is another widely known name. He has won gold, silver and bronze medals at Paralympic events and has enjoyed an illustrious career as someone that plays Boccia on a regular basis.

Boccia: The Most Popular Paralympic Sport

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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.

Boccia highlights from London 2012 Paralympic Games

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The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to develop sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality.