Statement on New BISFed Rules and Competition Manual
Dear CCPSA Stakeholders,
We hope you are having a safe and enjoyable summer! As you may have seen, BISFed recently released the updated 2021-2024 International Boccia Rules and 2021-2024 BISFed Competition and Ranking Manual which will both come into effect after the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
We will begin implementing the new boccia rules at competitions after Tokyo (i.e. Boccia Blast and the Canadian Boccia Championships), and will make sure athletes, coaches and officials are able to review the rule changes before these events. As with all new versions of the rules, we know there will be some transition time needed for everyone to adjust.
As part of the updates, BISFed will also be implementing new divisions of play and new restrictions on the number of athletes in pairs and teams.
Here is a summary of the changes:
- BC1, BC2, BC3 and BC4 events at international competitions will now be divided into separate male and female events for individual play.
- For pairs events at international competitions there will be a total of two athletes per pair (no substitutes) and the pair must have one male and one female athlete.
- For team events at international competitions there will be a total of three athletes per team (no substitutes) and the team must have at least one male and one female athlete, and at least one the three must be a BC1 Athlete.
We have reviewed the new divisions, consulted with our provincial partners and the Boccia Canada Council, and have determined that at this time, for domestic competitions, Canada will not be adopting male and female divisions for individual play, or male and female athlete quotas for team and pairs play. We will also continue to allow substitutes in team and pairs as follows: one substitute per pair; up to two substitutes per team and at least one BC1 athlete on court at all times.
We recognize that when competing internationally, Canadian athletes will be subject to BISFed’s requirements.
In coming to this decision, ensuring there are enough athletes in each division was a primary consideration. At the current time, if the male and female divisions were separated, there wouldn’t be enough athletes to have a meaningful competition in all classifications. As boccia continues to grow and develop across Canada, we’re hopeful that this will change, but we also realize there are other factors that need to be considered before we will be ready to have separate male and female divisions, including the development of policies around the inclusion of transgender and nonbinary athletes. Over the coming months, we will be working with our provincial partners to look at how and when Canada will be ready to implement male and female divisions, but at this time we’re not ready to commit to a specific implementation timeline.
We are very excited to be returning to competition and hope to see some of you at upcoming boccia events.