What is Korfball?
is a dynamic mixed team sport, originally from Holland. It
has been described as a mixture of Handball, Netball &
Basketball. The pitch is divided into 2 halves with a basket
(korf) in each division- the idea being to score as many goals
as you can! It's great fun and very easy to pick up, with
most UK players starting as adult beginners. It's mainly played
inside in winter, when there are league matches, but also
outside in summer, with all-day tournaments.
Korfball is played by two teams of 8 (4 men, 4 women) on
a rectangular pitch 40m by 20m, divided into two halves. There
is a goalpost in each half with the basket at the top at the
top of the 3.5m pole (1.5ft higher than a netball post) and
no backboard. The ball is similar to a football. The two zones,
defence and attack, are occupied by two men and two women
from each team.
consists almost entirely of passing the ball by hand from
person to person. Attackers try to lose their defenders in
order to create a shooting chance. This is not easy because
an attacker is not allowed to shoot if the defender is within
arms' length and nearer to the post. Players may only mark
a player of the same sex. Apart from playing within one half
of the field there are no set positions and players need to
have all round skills since whenever two goals are scored
in the match the players change zones (ie those who were attacking
now become defenders and vice versa).
Korfball was invented by a Dutch schoolteacher in 1902, and
came to the UK in 1946 as part of a cultural exchange which
also saw cricket exported to Holland. It is not in the Olympics
but features in the World Games (multi-sport event for non-Olympic
sports) every four years which makes it on a part with karate,
rugby sevens, squash and orienteering.
sport started to spread outside the London area in the 1980s
and is now played by both adults and juniors in many parts
of the UK. The British Korfball Association will be celebrating
their 60th anniversary in 2006. The Great Britain international
team consistently hold a top-eight world ranking.
More details and club listings can be found from the British
Korfball Association, on www.korfball.co.uk