Korfball - History, Techniques and How to Play -

Korfball – History, Techniques and How to Play

Movies like Bend it like Beckham (2002), Dangal (2017), Mary Kom (2014), Gracie (2007) hit high on the box office. At that point, our generation turns out to be the biggest hypocrite when it comes to female involvement in sports.


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 has 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 till date, it faced a lot of problems in deepening and strengthening its rules in the 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 metre × 20 metre. 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 traveling 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 she7 has to pass the ball within 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 team mate
  5. OUTBALL: When the ball leaves the field from the side-lines, out ball is given to the opposing team.

Rules of the Game

Korfball rules

Korfball is an amalgamation of basketball and netball, but with minimal or zero contact. The game is played worldwide with four male and four female players, or either all female players. No all men game is professionally played. Only the players of same gender can defend against each other.

The game not only withstands with the physical and mental coordinative abilities, but also promotes gender equality.

Things that are disbanded in KORFBALL

Korfball images

  1. Any contact or obstruction of player’s movement.
  2. Knocking the ball out of 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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