Rules Q & A

Rules are listed in numerical order
If you have a question on a particular rule that is not listed here, please send it to the Chair of the Rules & Competitions Committee and copy BISFed’s Competition Manager 
Rule No.

* Click the “+” to read the answer

This can be anyone that is registered to attend from the same country. It could be any of the athlete’s support persons or another athlete. As the CA, this individual takes the place of the coach and must sit in the coach’s box beside the score table. This individual could be a different person from match to match. This is only one individual – coach or CA; if it is not the coach him/herself then this person is called the CA for that match

The rest of the rule helps to explain the answer:

4.1.5 There is no restriction on the length of the pointer used by the Athlete to release the ball from the ramp (ref.: 15.5.4.) The pointer must be attached directly to the Athlete. (head, mouth, arm, leg, etc.). Pointers must have direct contact with the ball (and the Athlete) when releasing the ball. The release of the ball must be caused by the force of the Athlete using the pointer. Lifting or lowering a gate is not legal. Strings, ribbons, cloth strips, etc., are not pointers. Approved pointers will receive validation stickers.

The force can be: lifting the pointer off the ball; pushing the ball; or pulling the ball backward (and then lifting the pointer, or having the pointer slide off the back of the ball)

The athlete has no restriction on how to manoeuvre the wheelchair during the release (other than on his or her own – ref; 9.2.1, and to stay inside the throwing box – ref: 15.7.1)

Forcing the pointer to shake the ramp to cause the ball to roll is not legal.

To repeat: at the release of the ball, the athlete must have direct contact with the ball and cause the ball to move without assistance from the Ramp Operator.

Between the ends. …A replacement ramp may be substituted between Ends providing the replacement bears the validation stamp/sticker for the competition.

For Pair Division, the athlete may share a ramp with the teammate 19.1 Once per match, if any equipment breaks, time must be stopped and the Athlete will be given a one ten (10) minute technical time out to repair their equipment. In a Pairs match, an Athlete may share a ramp with his/her teammate if necessary. A replacement ramp may be substituted between Ends (the Head Referee must be notified of this). Repair items, including a replacement ramp, may come from outside the FOP. An Official (Liner, Timer, Referee…) must accompany the personnel doing the repair.

19.2- If the equipment cannot be repaired (or replaced between the ends), the athlete must carry on playing with the broken equipment.  If the athlete is unable to continue, any remaining balls for that athlete will become dead balls..

Which means that they cannot play the rest of that end? 

If the ramp is broken so badly that it cannot function at all, then yes, the athlete will likely be unable to propel any remaining balls. When time runs out, or the athlete signals not to play any more balls, any remaining balls from him/her are retracted and become dead balls.

This can be anyone that is registered to attend from the same country. It could be any of the athlete’s support persons or another athlete. As the CA, this individual takes the place of the coach and must sit in the coach’s box beside the score table. This individual could be a different person from match to match. This is only one individual – coach or CA; if it is not the coach him/herself then this person is called the CA for that match

10.6.1 All Athletes must be “Out of the Way” to allow opponents free access to the playing area. Getting “Out of the Way” must be done quickly, and if the Referee decides access is being denied, a yellow card may be given to the offending Athlete (ref 15.9.4 or 15.9.5). In the BC3 Division ROs and equipment (including the ramp and RO’s chair) must be “out of the way”.

Rule 1 Definitions Out of the Way  —  Athlete and all belongings to be in the back portion of the throwing box. RO MUST move their own equipment so it does not interfere with the opponent, nor get damaged by the opponent moving it.  Here the rule clearly states that the athlete must move to the back portion of the throwing box.  

17.5 An Athlete may ask another Athlete or RO to move if he/she is positioned in a way which interferes with the playing of a shot, but cannot ask them to go out of their throwing box… Here it is clear that an opponent may NOT force an athlete to back out of their own throwing box. If the athlete from the non-throwing side decides to voluntarily back up out of their throwing box that is allowed.

10.7.3 Athletes may go behind their throwing boxes to line up their shots or to talk to their teammates. At least one front wheel must remain inside the Athlete’s own throwing box during this time… During their own time, at least one front wheel must remain in their own throwing box when using the area behind their throwing box.

This is a matter of respecting the opponent’s space. From the rule change request survey athletes asked for this. There have been instances when the infringement is blatant and more than necessary. At times it is unavoidable, or very difficult, especially in Team and Pair matches, where athletes are sandwiched between two opponents. That’s why we chose “should”. So yes, they should avoid the line as much as possible. There is no direct penalty – other than loss of time by the referee standing in front of the athlete and asking him/her not to go into the opponent’s box.

10.12 Balls played together – If a Side plays more than one ball when it is that Side’s turn to play, the simultaneously played balls will be retracted and become Dead Balls (ref.: 15.5.11).

if one plays a ball and then another ball is propelled while the ball is still rolling then retract both balls. (it could be more than 2 balls being played simultaneously) 

10.2.4 A Side’s time will stop the moment the played ball becomes stationary within the court boundaries or crosses the court boundaries.

Once the played ball stops, or goes out of bounds, that Side’s turn is over.

Any balls played “out of turn” are retracted and become dead balls. 

15.5 The following actions will lead to retraction of the played ball (ref.: 15.1) 

– 15.5.1 if a ball is released prior to the Referee indicating which colour is to play.

When the score is 2-1, the score and the situation is NOT equidistant. So, do NOT make an equidistant gesture/sign. The referee shows the colour of the side to play (the side with the score of 1 in this example) and that side will play until the score changes, or that side has played all their balls

Rule 15.8 The following actions will lead to the award of a one ball penalty and a yellow card (ref.: 15.2, 15.3)

15.8.1 any interference with or distraction of another Athlete in such a way that it affects their opponent’s concentration or playing action.

If the activity (drinking water, wiping a runny nose, scratching an itch, preventing an athlete from falling out of their wheelchair, etc…) is disruptive then, yes it deserves the penalty (one ball + yellow card). There is no other boccia rule that states what specific activities are allowed. 10 .7 does state what is NOT allowed to take place during the opponent’s time:

10.7 Movement on Court

10.7.1 A Side may not prepare their next shot, orient the wheelchair or the ramp, or roll the ball in the opposing Sides’ time…

15.9.3 An Athlete when their ball(s) fails to meet the criteria during a ball check (ref.: 8 and 14.)

14 If one Athlete has more than one ball rejected during the same check, the offence will incur only one yellow card.

8 If an Athlete’s ball(s) fails the criteria during the ball check 

Since the rule says “ball check” or “the ball check”, we consider the entire process of checking the balls as one event. Should the athlete bring too many balls AND lose a ball during one of the ball tests, he/she would receive one yellow card, NOT two.

It can also happen during “referee time”, or end of end, or end of match. 

What if something needs to be clarified during the time of the opponent? 

Immediately when the opponent’s ball stops, it is referee time and an athlete may call the referee’s attention. (If on the opponent’s time, it would only be for a violation – which occurs as the ball is being released, just a few seconds ago)

The answer is no. And therefore, no sticker required.

17.3 An Athlete may not instruct his/her teammate’s Sport Assistant(Team) or Ramp Operator(Pair). Each Athlete may only communicate directly with his or her own Sport Assistant/Ramp Operator. A BC3 Athlete may use a common sheet or chart to give commands to their teammate.

17.10 Any communication device, including a smart phone taken onto the FOP by an athlete must be approved during Equipment Check and receive a valid sticker, by the HR or designate. Unapproved communication devices are NOT allowed on the FOP. Any misuse will be inappropriate communication and warrant a one ball penalty to be played at the 1st opportunity (Ref: 4; 15.6.3).

Unapproved communication devices are NOT allowed on the FOP.  Okay for call room.  Heart monitor or smart watch that is required on FOP? Must get approval and sticker during equipment check.

18.3 Any Athlete or SA/RO who receives a medical time out must be seen on court as soon as possible by the medical personnel assigned to the venue. The medical personnel may be assisted with communication from the Athlete or SA/RO, if necessary.

The medical timeout begins immediately when signalled, but the time will not start to count down until the medic arrives at the court

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