Anyone can play boccia!

However, athletes who are interested in attending competitions, need to go through a process called classification, in order to determine if they are eligible.

Through classification, athletes are observed by a group that includes an individual knowledgeable about the technical aspects of boccia and a physiotherapist and/or a doctor. This team ensures athletes are grouped into similar categories to ensure an equitable playing field.

National Boccia Classification Database (NBCD)

Find the National Boccia Classification Database here.

Classification Manual

Find the classification manual for boccia here.

Boccia Classification Rules

Athletes are assessed on their functionality and sporting ability into one of five classifications:


  • Severe impairment affecting all four limbs
  • Limited functional range of motion and coordination
  • May need power wheelchair for mobility
  • Has difficulty changing sitting position in chair
  • Has a hard time gripping and releasing the ball, but can throw consistently with hands or kick with feet

BC1 athletes may have an on-court assistant to help place the ball in their hand and position their chair.


  • Severe impairment affecting all four limbs
  • May use a manual or power wheelchair for everyday mobility
  • Lacks stability, but may be able to walk short distances
  • Strong grip and release of ball

BC2 athletes are not eligible for an on-court assistant.


  • Very severe impairment in all four limbs
  • May have arm movement but is unable to throw a boccia ball consistently with speed onto the playing area

BC3 athletes are able to have an on-court assistant as well as use an assistive device such as a ramp and a pointer.


  • Locomotive dysfunction affecting all four limbs
  • May have poor trunk control and will need assistance to return upright
  • Weak or lack of control of upper and/or lower limbs as well as trunk
  • Poor range of movement
  • Poor grip and release of ball, but has enough strength to throw a ball consistently

BC4 athletes are not eligible for an on-court assistant.


  • These are players with less impairment than a BC2 or BC4
  • For conditions of both Cerebral and Non Cerebral origin
  • Cerebral: Quadriplegic, Triplegic, Severe Hemiplegic.
  • Non Cerebral: impairment may result from lack of muscle strength, limitation in range of movement or limb shortening
  • May use either a manual or power wheelchair
  • May be able to walk with assistance or using a walking aid over short distances
  • Has a more active throw as a result of increased trunk control and/or upper limb muscle strength

BC5 athletes are not eligible for an on-court assistant.


The Open classification is for athletes who have a disability but do not qualify for the BC1-5 classifications. Open athletes may compete in any competition that offers an open division but are not eligible for competitions outside of Canada.