Notice to all BISFed Members:
On 5th December 2013, BISFed announced a review of the current ball testing procedures to ensure that the tests can determine more accurately the circumference of a ball and the degree to which a ball can distort. This announcement was as a result of a trend over recent years towards players using balls which have a greater circumference than allowed in the Boccia Rules (i.e. greater than the maximum of 278mm.) Such balls are often so soft that they cannot properly be described as ‘balls’ because they deform so much when they are thrown, thereby giving the thrower an unfair advantage. However, because these balls are so soft, they are able to pass the existing circumference test under Rule 2.1.
Since December, we have worked with various specialist organisations (Universities and Equipment manufacturers) to develop a robust testing mechanism. Several prototype testing devices have now been produced. These prototype devices have been demonstrated to those BISFed members who attended the World Open events in Montreal, Canada and in Povoa, Portugal.
It is now clear that none of the devices produced thus far is sufficiently robust and reliable for BISFed to sanction. It is also clear from feedback from our members that we need urgently to address the issue of the very soft balls described above. The BISFed Board has therefore agreed that, as a temporary first step, the existing Boccia Rule 2.1 will be amended with immediate effect. Following the World Championships in 2014, we will conduct further research so as to develop the robust testing mechanism needed to ensure fair competition in our sport in the future. Our goal is to be able to introduce a new testing device in time for the 2015 Competitions.