Korfball – History, Techniques and How to Play



Across the globe, every place is rampant with the male dominating sports, and very less recognition is given to the females participating in that sport. No TV broadcasts, no news articles, no attention has been given to girls and women sports enthusiasts in the real world. History is facts that have witnessed women overtaking men at various platforms, and are still doing.

History of Korfball – Foundation of Inclusivity

History of Korfball

There was a great teacher, who came up with the idea of a game that included both sexes and both the sexes were made to attack and defend in that game. That game was KORFBALL, which was founded in 1901 by a Dutch teacher Nico Broekhuysen.

He travelled to Sweden, where he came to learn about a game called ringboll. In ringboll, two teams competed, comprising of four male and four female players, and the field was divided into three zones, and the goal was to be scored by putting the ball in a metal ring. Watching the game, the Dutchman was tipped the idea of Korfball.

For the sake of his students, he minimized the number of zones to two and replaced the ring with a basket. The game got its name from the term Korf, which means basket in Dutch.

It was first played professionally in 1902 in Amsterdam and in 1903 a National League was formed, which soon spread to Belgium, New Guinea, Germany, Spain and England. The International Korfball Federation was founded in 1933, which now has a bench of 50 members.

When the game was initially started, it became a matter of transgression. The mentality of the people couldn’t accept girls playing in shorts and showing their knees. Being the only unisex sport to date, it faced a lot of problems in deepening and strengthening its rules in society. Several journalists refused to give it slightest of attention and one newspaper even mentioned it as a social monster.

But despite all the controversies and criticism drawn, korfball was selected as a display sport in the 1920 and 1928 Olympics.

How to Play


The court is 40 metres × 20 metres, and the zones are 20 metres × 20 metres. The Korf is 3.5 metres high and is located 6.7 metres away from the outline. There are two 2.5 metres circles, which denote the penalty area and the post area.

Korfball is a basic court and ball game. Its ball is as same as of Netball and the goals are scored in a plastic basket, with no nets.

There are two zones in the court, an attacking zone and a defending zone. Two players of each gender must stay in each zone. Once two goals have been scored, the zones change which means, now the attackers are defenders, and the defenders are attackers. This gives both males and females chances to attack and defend, making it a role equality game.

You can only mark a single person, which means you’ll not have more than one defender guarding you. If you are a defender, then you cannot shoot the ball. If you’ve retrieved the ball, you’ve to pass it to the attacking half.

A player cannot run while holding the ball, only a pivotal movement is possible until the landing foot is on the ground. If you do so, this is known as travelling and the opponent would be awarded to the other team. You can retrieve the ball by intercepting the pass, receiving the loose ball or by defending the shots.

Two halves of 30 minutes are played in the game, but the duration differs according to the league you are playing in.


 Korfball pass

  1. FREE PASS: A free pass is awarded to the opposition team in the penalty area. As the player cannot shoot directly, he or she has to pass the ball within a duration of 4 seconds.
  2. PENALTY: A penalty is awarded inside the penalty area for the serious fouls.
  3. TIME OUT: Time outs are awarded for discussing strategies and for a break. The duration of time out is 60 seconds and the number of timeouts given varies.
  4. THROW BALL: To restart or start a game, a player must pass the ball to his teammate
  5. OUT-BALL: When the ball leaves the field from the side-lines, out ball is given to the opposing team.

Rules of the Game

Korfball rules

  • If playing indoors, the size of the Korfball court should be 20m x 40m or if playing outdoors it should be 30m x 60m.
  • Teams shall consist of eight players and shall consist solely of female players or four female and four male.
  • Korfball matches consist of two halves, each lasting for a total of 35 minutes, with a 10-minute halftime break.
  • Each team has four players in each half and during the match, they cannot switch zones. The game begins once a coin toss has decided who shall begin.
  • In Korfball, the aim is to score by throwing the ball through the opposition’s basket.
  • Once two goals have been scored, the teams change zones, with attackers becoming defenders and vice versa. Teams also swap ends at half time.
  • On receiving the ball, a player may not dribble, walk or run with it but can move one foot with one remaining planted to the ground as in netball.
  • Tackling, blocking and holding are not allowed in Korfball.
  • The team with the most goals (points) at the end of the match are declared the winner.
  • If both teams are on equal points at the end of the match, the game is declared a draw.

Things that are disbanded in KORFBALL

Korfball images

  1. Any contact or obstruction of the player’s movement.
  2. Knocking the ball out of the opponent’s hands.
  3. Travelling, that is, moving from one place to another with the ball in your hand. No movement is allowed when you have the ball in your hand. You can only make any movement until your landing foot is on its place.
  4. Playing outside your zone, this means the defenders can only defend their goal staying in their zone, and attackers can only attack in their zone.
  5. Touching the ball with leg or foot.
  6. Marking or defending against the opposite sex or grabbing hold of.

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