Boccia is descendent from ancient Greek ball tossing games. It has now been developed into a fun game enjoyed by able and disabled people alike. A game similar to Boccia was played throughout the Roman Empire and later developed into such variants as the Italian version of Bocce, French Petanque, and Lawn Bowls. Boccia can be either a competitive sport or a recreational activity played anywhere from the garden to a Paralympic level.
The balls are of a solid but pliable nature with a kinetic and rolling quality, this often means those with a more severe functional disability are able to grip the ball more easily, it also has the possibility of reducing the advantage of physical strength so that skill becomes a more important factor. A player can also kick the ball into court and others may use specifically designed assistive devices such as ramps.
In 1984 Boccia was officially recognised as a Paralympic discipline and since then has gone from strength to strength. New clubs playing Boccia are regularly springing up. Many social and day centres, schools, residential establishments and sports clubs are involved in the sport, or expressing an interest in developing it further.
Boccia was first played in Australia in 1987 when it was brought back from Gitz. From then it was played in the Bicentennial Westfield Games from which Australia sent a team to the 1988 Seoul Paralympics.Boccia Australia was formed in 1990 by athletes in Sydney. From this action Boccia has grown in strength and numbers with four states becoming members of Boccia Australia.
2007 saw Tasmania and ACT compete at National level for the first time. In 2011 two athletes from Tasmania win bronze medals at the National Boccia Championships.