Boccia at the Parapan Am Games
Boccia Sport Preview:
Boccia made its first appearance at the Paralympic Games in 1984 and at the Parapan American Games in 2003. Since its introduction at the Paralympic Games, the sport has grown tremendously and is now practiced around the world.
Boccia is a sport that requires much precision, concentration, and strategy. Athletes compete individually, in a pair, or in teams of three. The objective in boccia is to throw the red or blue balls as close as possible to the white ball, called the “jack”. The team that is closest to the jack gets points that equal the number of balls that they have closer to the jack than their opponent’s closest ball. Athletes compete in one of four sport classes: BC1, BC2, BC3, and BC4.
The United States is sending a team of three to the Parapan American Games Santiago 2023, including Nick Taylor (BC4), Natalie Chastain (BC3) and ramp operator Becky Prince, and Michele Lynch (individual BC2).
Boccia competition will run from Nov. 19-25 at the Choose Healthy Living Center in Lo Espejo.
Storylines and Athletes to Watch:
• Nick Taylor will make his inaugural Parapan Am Games appearance, but he is not new to Paralympic competition. A four-time Paralympic medalist (3 gold, 1 silver) in the sport of wheelchair tennis, Nick made the switch to boccia following the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. He is one of the more experienced U.S. athletes in the sport but is still relatively new to the international boccia scene. His biggest goal for Santiago is to earn a medal, but he knows that will be tough in a highly competitive Americas zone. If he is not able to secure a qualification spot to Paris 2024, he will still have his sights set on LA28.
• Michele Lynch and Natalie Chastain are newer to the international boccia scene as members of the U.S. development team. Santiago will be Michele’s second trip to South America this fall as she recently competed in Brazil at the Fortaleza 2023 World Boccia Cup. The Parapan Am Games will mark the first tournament of the season and international competition for Natalie Chastain and ramp operator Becky Prince. Both Michele and Natalie have goals to advance out of pool play and into individual finals.
For the 2023 Parapan Am Games, a country may be allocated a maximum of 10 qualification slots and a maximum of two slots per gender and sport class. Teams qualified for the Parapan Am Games via the following methods:
• Teams and Paris World Ranking Allocation list: the four highest ranked teams and pairs in each medal event on the BISFed Boccia Team and Pairs World Ranking List as of December 31, 2022, obtained one male, one female, and one gender-free qualification slot.
• Individual World Ranking List Allocation: The two highest ranked athletes in each medal event on the BISFED Boccia Individual Ranking List as of December 31, 2022, obtained one qualification slot.
• The host country directly qualified one BC1/BC2 team, one BC3 pair, and one BC4 pair.
• Bipartite Commission Invitation Allocation: 13 athletes were selected by the IPC and BISFED.
For more information on qualification procedures, click here.
Nick Taylor (BC4) and Natalie Chastain (BC3) qualified by name for the 2023 Parapan Am Games per the BISFed Boccia Individual World Ranking List Allocation method. Michele Lynch (individual, BC2) was selected by the IPC and BISFed for Bipartite Commission Invitation slots via the Bipartite Commission Invitation Allocation method for qualification.
For more information on team selection, click here.