2011 World Cup Team Heads to Ireland
Wednesday, August 17 was travel day for BlazeSports America’s 2011 National Boccia Team. Our team of 9 athletes and 10 staff departed from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for Belfast Ireland and the 2011 World Cup. Thursday and Friday will be arrival days, classification, equipment check and pre-tournament practice. Saturday, August 20 is Opening Ceremonies and Pairs and Teams begin competition on Sunday, August 21.
The World Cup is the last major international Boccia competition before the 2012 London Paralympic Games and will include 191 athletes from 33 countries.
The 2011 National Boccia Team members are:
TJ Hawker Toledo, OH Individual and Team Play
Luke Labas Fort Wayne, IN Individual and Team Play
Cornelius Oatis Columbus, OH Individual and Team Play
Jennifer Jay Pinellas, FL Individual and Team Play
Marck Harrison Columbus, OH Individual and Team Play
Austin Hanson Topeka, KS Individual and Pairs Play
Lee Lobmeyer Topeka, KS Individual and Pairs Play
Sam Williams Elmhurst, IL Individual and Pairs Play
Patrick Elliot Peculiar, MO Individual Play
“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, the Chief Executive Officer for BlazeSports America. “We are very excited to about this team of talent athletes and their chances for medals at the World Cup..”
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.