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A korfball match in the Netherlands between 'Trekvogels' and 'OZC'

Korfball (Dutch: Korfbal) is a mixed gender team ball game, similar to mixed netball and basketball. It is played in 57 countries. The sport is very popular amongst others in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Taiwan. A team consists of four men and four women.



Korfball is played indoors or outdoors on a court divided into halves called zones. In each zone is a post [3.5m (11.5 ft), shorter for children] with a basket at the top. This is positioned two thirds of the distance between the center line and the back of the zone. The ball is similar in size as those used in football (soccer) but with more grip and bounce. Players score by throwing the ball through the other team's basket. After two goals the teams change zones: defenders become attackers and attackers become defenders. At half-time teams swap halves.

Men and women play side-by-side, but duels are man to man and woman to woman. One man may guard one man and one woman may guard one woman. A woman may not defend a man nor may a man defend a woman.

Each team tries to score using tactics. The rules prevent physical strength dominating the game. Blocking, tackling and holding are not allowed, nor are kicking or punching the ball. A player may not attempt to score when defended, which occurs when the defender is closer to the basket and facing his opponent, and is at arm's length and attempting to block the ball.


Nico Broekhuysen, a Dutch school teacher, learned a game called ringboll in Sweden in 1902. Ringboll was the Swedish name for netball, called that because they used a simple ring rather than a net.[1] Points are scored in ringboll by throwing the ball through a ring attached to a 3m post. Broekhuysen replaced the ring with a basket (for which the Dutch word is "korf" or "mand") and simplified the rules. They included letting men and women play at the same time. [2]

International korfball

Korfball is played in 57 countries including England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Poland, Greece, Serbia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Portugal, Pakistan, Sweden, Philippines, Italy and France. It was a demonstration sport in the Olympic Games of 1920 and 1928, held in Antwerp and Amsterdam.

The International Korfball Federation was founded in 1933. Korfball has been played in the World Games since 1985. IKF World Championships have been held every four years since 1978. The leading nations are the Netherlands and Belgium. The oldest un-merged and still existing korfball club in the world is a Dutch korfball-club H.K.C. ALO located in The Hague, Netherlands; this is the oldest club that was never merged. H.K.C. ALO was founded on February 1st, 1906.

Hong Kong hosted its first international tournament, the Asia Oceania Championship in 2006. New Zealand hosted the Asia Oceania Youth Championships in 2007.

Beach play

Rules for the game differ slightly from those of indoor play. Each team has 4 starters and 4 substitutes, only a single basket is used, matches consist of 5 minute halves with 3 minutes rest between, and if any team has only two players remaining (1 man and 1 woman) because of injury or other reason during the match, the referee will stop and terminate early.[3]

World Championship

The national teams competition organized by the International Korfball Federation has been played every four years since 1978.

Year Host Champion Second place Third place
I Details 1978 Netherlands  Netherlands  Belgium  West Germany
II Details 1984 Belgium  Netherlands  Belgium  West Germany
III Details 1987 Netherlands  Netherlands  Belgium  Great Britain
IV Details 1991 Belgium  Belgium  Netherlands  Chinese Taipei
V Details 1995 India  Netherlands  Belgium  Portugal
VI Details 1999 Australia  Netherlands  Belgium  Great Britain
VII Details 2003 Netherlands  Netherlands  Belgium  Czech Republic
VIII Details 2007 Czech Republic  Netherlands  Belgium  Czech Republic

IKF U23 World Championship

Coverage via

Continental championships

IKF promotes two continental championships: European Korfball Championship and Asia-Oceania Korfball Championship.

Europa Cup for Clubs

Every year the IKF organise the European Cup for clubs. The winner in 2009 was Koog Zaandijk from Zaanstad (NED). The winner in 2007 and 2008 was DOS '46 from Drenthe in the Netherlands. DOS'46 won their first European Cup in 1982. Ons Eibernest from The Hague in the Netherlands won the first championship in 1967. PKC from the Netherlands, have won the championship the most times, recording 10 wins in all. The Europa Cup is the only official international competition for clubs. The only club from Great Britain to reach the final, was Mitcham Korfball Club from London. Mitcham lost the final against Catbavrienden from Belgium in 1998.

See also


  1. ^ Hickock [1]
  2. ^ Koninklijk Nederlands Korfbalverbond (Royal Dutch Korfball Association). "Historie (History)" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2006-08-30. 
  3. ^ The rule of Beach korfball International Korfball Federation

External links


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