What is visually impaired Boccia?

Boccia (pronounced botcha) is a Paralympic target sport, similar to bowls, which is played indoors. Visually impaired boccia (VI boccia) is played by individuals who are blind or partially sighted. Athletes aim to propel their balls close to the jack ball by interpreting the position of the balls on the court by reading a tactile grid, or by using other adapted playing methods. Two sides compete as individuals, pairs or as a team of three over a set number of ends. Each side has six balls (red or blue) each end to try and score points. Points are accumulated over the course of a match to find a winner. The sport is played indoors on a 12.5m by 6m court, usually in a sports hall but any suitable flat playing area can be used. The full World Boccia rules can be found here:

How do I get involved in visually impaired Boccia?

Use our Activity Finder or visit Boccia England's Find a Club to find out more about local VI Boccia opportunities. The following organisations can also provide guidance on where you can play Boccia near where you live:

Disability Sport Wales

Disability Sport Northern Ireland

Scottish Disability Sport


The VI Boccia Grid is a handheld and scaled-down version of a boccia court. Plastic pegs serve as tactile markers and come in a variety of shapes and textures to correspond with the various coloured balls. A sports assistant uses a grid to plot the positions of each ball on the court. Other adaptations can be used to help players take their first steps into VI boccia in recreational settings where players may not have access to the specialist VI boccia grid.

Pathways and Competitions

Contact your local club for more information about pathways to playing and competing in Boccia. Boccia England host regional Heathcoat Cup competitions around the country. It is perfect for players wanting to start or further their individual competition experience. For more information, visit:


Classification is a way of grouping players into levels of impairment, to make sure that players are competing on an equal level.

Boccia follows the World Boccia rules for BC1-4 classifications. In the English pathway, classification categories are expanded to include regional and national opportunities for BC1-8 players. Within this range, VI boccia players are grouped into Boccia Classification 7 (BC7) – a single classification where all players preferably wear blackout eyeshades to ensure fair and equal competition. To play competitively in organised VI boccia competitions, players may be required to provide evidence of their visual impairment or obtain a formal British Blind Sport Classification. For more information on classifications, visit:

Boccia Resource

British Blind Sport has worked with Boccia England to develop an inclusive resource that will help to support more blind and partially sighted players to participate in boccia. The new resource teaches coaches how to include blind and partially sighted people in boccia and provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to confidently deliver visually impaired (VI) boccia in club, school, and community settings.

Download the PDF version of Visually Impaired Boccia
Download the Word version of Visually Impaired Boccia

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