Section 9.1 and 11.1: Movement on Court

This is a series of rule change submissions that I made on January 13, 2013 to BISFed in response to their draft changes.  The international boccia rules change every four years, after the Paralympic Games.  You can find my other submissions here.  I am presenting them on individual pages, so that you can comment on each proposal separately.

BISFed Proposed change:

9.1 With the exception of overstepping the throwing box lines to manoeuvre the wheelchair in preparation for the next shot, the permission of the Referee must always be sought before moving from the playing box to enter the court.

My proposed change:

9.1 A side may cross the throwing line and enter the court once the Referee has indicated it is its turn to throw.


11.1 The following actions will lead to the award of penalty balls (ref. 10.2):

11.1.1 [should be changed to] Being wholly or partially outside the throwing box when it is not a side’s turn to throw. [(ref. removed)]


Asking permission to leave the throwing box is unnecessary and complicates the flow of the game.  It becomes especially difficult when athletes are non-verbal or speak a different language than the Referee.  Going onto the court to observe the placement of balls is natural and common for boccia players.  Sides are not required to ask permission before throwing each ball; permission to enter the court on one’s own time should not be required either.  This proposal will drastically speed up the game.

The concern that a “wild player” could go onto the court and disrupt balls, unless the referee is in control of granting entrance permission, is dealt with in:

11.3 The following actions will lead to the award of penalty balls and a warning – yellow card (ref. 10.2 / 10.4):

11.3.2 deliberately causing a disrupted end.

Control of the court continues to remain with the Referee in this proposal, who must be vigilant for players who enter the court at the wrong time – just as he or she currently must be vigilant for balls thrown at the wrong time.

This proposed amendment would still require athletes to ask permission to leave the throwing box between ends and when it is not the time of either side, including when both sides wish to closely observe the official measurement.