What is Korfball?

Find out about the greatest sport you've never heard of...

Korfball Through the Ages

“Korf” is the Dutch word for “basket”.

The sport was invented in 1902 by a Dutch school teacher so his pupils could play together, and he took inspiration from the Swedish sport “ringboll”. At the time it was considered a controversial sport because the boys and girls played together on the same teams.

Since its introduction, the sport has gone from strength to strength. It has featured as a demonstration sport at the Olympics twice (in 1920 and 1928) and it has featured in every World Games since 1985.

Today korfball is played all over the world and on every continent: indoors, outdoors, and even on sand!

The Basics

Korfball is a mixed-gender sport as men and women play on the same teams, but you can only mark someone of the same gender! You need to work as a team as you can’t dribble with the ball like basketball, but the footwork rules aren’t quite as strict as netball! If you’re being defended, you can’t shoot so you need to beat your defender first to take a shot – it makes for a fast paced game where teamwork is essential!

You can’t tackle anyone or take the ball from their hands, so go for interceptions to stop the attackers scoring or keep the pressure on until the shot clock runs down. There are no positions in korfball but half the team starts in defence and the other half in attack and you switch every time two goals have been scored. A goal is scored by shooting the ball through the korf, which is roughly in the middle of each half meaning you can attack from all angles.