BlazeSports Boccia National Championships Roll into Atlanta

July 17, 2009, 4:58 p.m. (ET)

ATLANTA, Ga. - From July 17-19, athletes from across the country will converge at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta for BlazeSports America's 2009 U.S. Boccia National Championships. The tournament will bring together over 50 athletes and coaches to compete in this sport of precision, skill and strategy. The Georgia Institute of Technology's Office of Government Relations is supporting the event, which is open to the public.

"Boccia has been on the sport program of the Paralympic Games since 1984. The Paralympic version is based on the game that originated in Italy and has since spread worldwide," said Carol Mushett Johnson, executive director for BlazeSports America. "We are very excited to bring national level athletes to Georgia for what is sure to be a spirited competition." 

One of the fastest growing Paralympic sports, boccia is played one-on-one, in pairs or in teams of three and is contested an indoor hard court surface.  The object of the sport is to throw or roll game balls so that they land as close as possible to the target ball called the jack. After all of the balls have been thrown, the closest team receives the number of points equal to the number of balls that they have closer to the jack than their opponent's closest ball.  The disability sport community initially adopted boccia as a sport for athletes with cerebral palsy but it is now open to all athletes with significant physical disabilities. The sport is a test of concentration, accuracy and strategic ability.