Four Chicago area Boccia Ball teams gathered at North Central College’s Residence Hall and Recreation Center to take part in Western DuPage Special Recreation Associations’ Metro Boccia Cup.
“It’s a good practice event for these guys, to be in a game situation,” said Amie Chrisman, the Athletics Supervisor for WDSRA. “They get to practice going to the call room and playing against other teams, instead of just practicing against their own teammates each week.”
Boccia Ball is similar to Bocce Ball, but is played indoors by players in wheelchairs. Two teams throw their red or blue leather balls towards a white target ball. The team that gets the closest to the target wins the round.
Matt Hiltner has played Boccia Ball for more than 15 years through WDSRA.
“It was a WDSRA program,” said Hiltner. “It was a program they were having so I just signed up one and started playing an really enjoyed and I have been doing it ever since then.”
WDSRA hopes that by participating in tournaments like this, players learn different strategies you can only experience in a game. The tournament did not declare a winner because it was for practice and to get the players ready for the next level.
“When they do go to a national competition or another higher-level competition, they are prepared. [They will] know what to expect won’t get nervous. They will know they are supposed to be doing,” said Chrisman.
“My strategy is just to get to the jack ball,” said Hitner. “That’s pretty much my strategy and it often works!”
Different special recreation associations hold these tournaments monthly in different parts of the state.
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