What is boccia?

Boccia (pronounced botcha) is a target sport played indoors on a court.

Players propel a boccia ball by rolling, throwing or kicking it towards the target jack ball.

As an activity, boccia is similar to boules or pétanque but uses a soft leather ball, which means it can be played at any time in any place and by anyone.

Who can play?

Boccia is ideal for all people with a disability and is popular with wheelchair users and individuals with cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and aquired age-related disability.



  • Ideally a flat, smooth playing area 12.5m x 6m.
  • Six red balls, six blue balls, one white jack ball custom made for boccia.
  • A court marked out in the dimensions detailed in the BISFed rules and classification manual (


Comparable to the French game of pétanque, boccia is derived from the 16th century Italian game bocce and was adapted for disabled athletes in Sweden in the 1970s. It was introduced to the UK shortly afterwards, where it was developed further into the sport we know today.

Boccia made its debut at the New York Paralympic Games in 1984 and is now practised at elite level in over 50 countries. Men and women compete together in teams, pairs or as individuals. Although boccia is a Paralympic sport for players with a severe physical disability, it can be played by all.

Scotland has a long tradition of boccia Paralympians and international medal success. A Scotland Squad is made up of players from across the four classifications. There are boccia clubs and opportunities to play in many areas of Scotland.