Boccia is a Paralympic sport that is highly competitive. The game is designed for people of all ages who are (typically) wheelchair users. Athletes compete within classification groups, based on functional ability, meaning they play against individuals with similar physical functionality. The sport can be played as an individual or in teams/pairs on specially marked courts indoors (typically a gym floor). The object of the game is to throw or roll leather-like balls so they land as close as possible to a white target ball (called a “Jack”). Each side has 6 colored balls (red or blue). Those athletes who are unable to propel a ball under their own power are afforded the assistance of a “sport assistant” and boccia ramp to assist them in propelling the ball onto court, though the athlete maintains complete control over aim and strategy decisions.
For more information about how to play the sport, check out this description:
@ Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center, 800 St. Charles Rd., Glen Ellyn IL 60137
A typical Synergy Boccia season runs from October to July, culminating with the USA Boccia National Tourney. We practice weekly and participate as a team and as individuals in various local and regional competitions throughout the season. Competition in any given event is voluntary. Program equipment (boccia balls and ramps) are available for use. We host our own regional competition, the Chicagoland Regional Boccia Invitational.
Boccia training is open to ALL LEVELS, beginner to advanced. Skills development focuses on mechanics, strategy, and match awareness. Program is focused on participation in competition (at all levels), though any given tourney is optional.
“Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.”
athlete & family Testimonials
“Once I discovered boccia through Synergy, there was a sport that not only was I good at, but I could improve! Not only that, I wanted to! I’ve gone to tournaments locally, at various spots in the U.S. and even one in Canada — which I would not have had a chance at in the other sports I tried, namely because they didn’t have the time to focus on it like Synergy does. Synergy has been a program where I have improved my boccia skills, formed friendships and learned what being a team member truly means.”
“Before I was involved in adaptive sports, life was lonely. It was hard to find individuals with common interest and similar disabilities. I wanted to be just like my older brother and sister that participated in sports, but at that time, I was never able to do so. Since participating, I have built up my self confidence and have accomplished many things. I have also met a close group of friends through many of the activities, such as water skiing, snow skiing, rock climbing, and of course, my favorite, boccia.”
Meet the Coaches!
Bulldogs Boccia Head Coach
Education: University of Illinois ’09
Elite Playing Career: 2001-2011. Highlights: BC3 Pairs National Champion 2002-04, 2007-08, 2011; BC3 Singles National Champion 2007. U.S. Paralympic Team Member BC3 Pairs/Singles 2004. U.S. Team Member 2009-2011.
Administrative Career: Nationals Games Director 2012. National Classification Chairman 2013-2021. U.S. BC1-BC2 Teaam Coach 2017.
USOPC Athlete Ambassador 2010-2012.
Synergy Bulldogs Head Coach 2013-present.
Team Highlights: BC1 Singles National Champion Brigid Mason; BC1-2 Team National Chamapions 2018, 2019. BC2 National Champion, Michele Lynch. Total Nationals Medals: 16. Brigid Mason, Michele Lynch, Matt Hiltner, and T.J. Zweidinger.
Coaching Philosophy: Quae Parare Victorum (Victory, Those Who Prepare)
Personal Drive: Amat Victoria Curam (Victory Loves Preparation)
Bulldogs Boccia Team Lead
A coach of the Synergy Bulldogs since 2016, Megan has coached the team at numerous regional tournaments as well as during the USA Boccia National Tournaments in 2016-2019. She has also coached and assisted individual athletes for several international competitions, including the World Open in Kanas City 2017, World Open Montrel 2018, World Open Montreal 2019, USA Boccia Training Camp at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in April 2019 and in September 2019. Megan’s dedication to the Synergy Bulldog’s team truly reflects her love of the sport and her desire to help Synergy athletes maximize their talents individually and collaboratively.