What is Korfball?

Korfball is a mixed team sport that is increasing in popularity throughout the world. The sport was introduced by a Dutch school teacher who founded Korfball back in 1875.

He was looking for a team sport that both boys and girls could play on equal terms. He couldn’t find such a sport so he decided to make one up!
The word ‘Korf’ is simply Dutch for ‘basket’ and so we retain the Dutch word for obvious reasons (basketball was already taken!).
The sport has now spread around the world, although Holland got a bit of a head start and so tends to win most international competitions. Korfball is suitable for players of all ages, sizes and shapes, as you will see if you visit one of our training sessions!

How is it played?

There are 8 players in a korfball team, 4 men and 4 women. The 40m x 20m court is split into 2 halves and to start the game the team is split into 2 groups of 4 (2 male and 2 female) in each end of the court. One of the 2 groups of 4 sets out in the teams attacking half whilst the other is in the defence half.

The groups switch ends and roles after 2 goals are scored so everyone gets a chance at attacking and defending.


No running with the ball

You can’t just rely on one “superstar” running around doing all the work while the others just watch! Scoring chances must be made through passing, running and teamwork.Korfball Court

No physical contact

It’s not rugby!

No shooting whilst ‘defended’

This evens out the tall and the short of us, so tall players can’t just tower over us shorties and beat us every time! They must find free space before being allowed to shoot.
Basically an attacker is considered to be ‘defended’ when an opponent of the same sex (more on that later) fulfils the following 3 criteria:-
1. They are between the attacker and the basket.
2. They are within arms length of the attacker.
3. They are actively trying to block the ball.

You cannot hinder a member of the opposite sex

This means that the women are competing against the women and the men against the men, all within a fast and flowing team environment. Both have to co-operate with each other in order to succeed.

How do you score?

In Korfball a ‘goal’ is scored when the ball passes through the opponents rattan basket which is mounted on a 3.5m pole, itself mounted within the court as opposed to at the end of it. Good shooting skills are essential and top players will be shooting from as far away as 10 metres in a game. In Korfball you don’t score points, a goal is a goal. On average a team would expect to score between 10 – 15 goals in a game but more is possible.

Other rules

Of course there are other rules, no punching the ball, free passes and penalty shots for fouls etc, but you don’t need to know about them just yet. Just come and give it a go.
Beginners are always welcome (we’re not so far off being beginners ourselves!).

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