This sport is still new to many people, so it may surprise you to learn that it’s over 100 years old, played in over 40 countries, and is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK! Korfball is similar to netball and basketball, but what makes it special is that it is designed to be played by mixed teams. It was invented in 1901 by Amsterdam schoolteacher Nico Broekhuysen, who wanted a game that the boys and girls in his school could play together on equal terms.
Korfball is played by two teams of 8 (4 male, 4 female) on a 40m by 20m pitch, but a badminton court will do just as well. The pitch is divided into two square halves with the goalposts placed one third of the length of the square inside the back line. The goalpost supports an open basket called a korf (which is the Dutch word for basket), with the rim 11.5ft from the ground. The two zones are occupied by two males and two females from each team, but apart from this there are no set positions like in netball. All players need all-round skills as defence and attack players must swap zones after every two goals.
The ball (similar to a heavy football) is passed by hand from person to person, and it’s very important for attackers to use changes of speed and direction to lose their markers, because they are not allowed to shoot if the defender is within arms' length and nearer to the post. To keep things fair, players are only allowed to mark someone of the same sex. Any player in the attack zone may score. Kicking, punching and running with the ball are not allowed, and no body contact is permitted.
There are currently six Korfball clubs in Norfolk click here to go to our korfball club search pages for more information. The following clubs offer junior training sessions:
- Dragons KC Wednesdays at Heartsease High School, (Liz Williams 01603 405935)
- Norwich City KC Tuesdays at Eaton CNS School, (Philip Buttinger 01603 250269)
- Stingers KC Tuesday at Blyth Jex School (Sara Bush 01603 438688)