A game of precision and concentration, the objective is to throw leather balls (6 per competitor) as close as possible to a white target ball (the ‘jack’) on a long, narrow field of play. At the end of the game the player closest to the “jack” receives 1 point for each ball closer to the jack than their opponent’s. Boccia is played on an indoor marked court, usually with a hard surface, with men and women competing together in individual, pairs and team competition. The athletes use their hands, feet or an assistive device where required, to propel the ball.

Boccia has no counterpart in the Olympic program. All events are mixed gender and feature individual, pair and team competitions for a total of seven medal events. In team competition, a playing rotation is maintained throughout the game. Scoring is done at the conclusion of an end. One point is awarded for each ball that is closest to the jack and “inside” any opponent’s ball. If two balls of the same colour are closer to the jack than any of the balls of the opposing side, they will receive one point for each ball. If two or more balls of different colours are at the same distance from the jack and there is no other ball closer to it, then each side receives one point per ball.

After the completion of all ends, the individual, pair or team with the highest total score is declared winner. If the scores of both teams are equal, a tiebreak consisting of one additional end is played.