Korfball was first invented by a Dutch teacher called Nico Broekhuysen in the year 1902. The game was primarily played in Netherlands but has gained popularity and prominence in various countries now.

It enjoys huge prominence in Taiwan and Belgium and is played primarily in 54 countries worldwide. Korfball is essentially a ball sport, very similar to basketball and netball. One of the differences being that the basket in Korfball only comprises of the ring without the net. The goal of the game is to score as many baskets as possible in the ring, which is mounted at a height of 3.5 meters.


Korfball is a gender neutral game where a team comprises of equal number of men and women, usually four each. Though the game has an all-female team, it does not have an all-men’s team. All-female Korfball is more popular in the south of Netherlands whereas in the north, mixed gender Korfball is more popular.

Korfball, since it was originally invented in Netherlands, enjoys a distinguished position in the country. It has more than 580 clubs in Netherlands itself.

Korfball can be played indoors as well as outdoors. The courts are generally 30×60 metres in size. It is divided into two equal halves and is referred to as zones. Each zone has a separate basket planted on a pole.

Some Basic Rules and Regulations

Team Size

A team of Korfball comprises of four players each. It can either be an all-female team or have two men or women. Each side has its own referee to oversee if any fouls are committed. Two teams compete against each other in a game.

Time of the Match

A game of Korfball usually lasts for about 60 minutes. It is divided into two halves of 30 minutes each. The players are granted a 10 minute break in between.


Players cannot switch their zone in the middle of the game. Each team has to play on both the zones during the match. Teams have to switch zones after half-time. When a team has both men and women, then they duel against the same sex only.


Both the teams have an offence and a defence. Each team has to try and score a basket in the opponent’s team. The team that manages to score the maximum wins the game.


Though physical strength and stamina is very important in any sport, Korfball has a balance of both strength and presence of mind. Once a player takes possession of the ball, he/she cannot walk/run, dribble or kick it. The player is allowed to pivot with one leg with the ball and eventually pass it on to the next member. When a player is about to aim the basket, a defender cannot block the ball.


Some of the common offences made during the game are travelling with the ball, pushing/holding the player, making leg contact with the ball, playing outside of one’s zone, solo play and snatching the ball from the opponent’s hands. A penalty is levied when a player commits any of these offences. It includes a free pass, restart or a penalty.

Korfball is a very fun and entertaining sport, perhaps not so popular but is very well played across over 50+ countries in the world. If you belong to one of those countries and just starting out on playing korfball or if you’re an amateur in the game belonging to any part of the world, this article will ensure to provide you with sufficient enough detail about korfball. You can read up this article and get a good understanding of how the sport works such that you perform much better than you otherwise would the next time you go out to play.

Basic Rules:
The total number of players per team in a game of korfball is eight in number. Each team comprises of 4 boys and 4 girls. The individual teams are divided into two divisions or two groups comprising of 4 members in each group. The 4 members in each division include 2 girls and 2 boys. The central strategy of the game dictates for each independent division to either be attacking or defensive and is required to take position accordingly.
The attacking division/group in a team is responsible for putting the ball in the basket, thus scoring a point in the process. After every two points the attacking and defensive divisions switch positions and thus as a player playing korfball in any team, you need to be equipped with attacking as well as defensive skills. You are not allowed to make physical contact with your opponent during a match deliberately. You are not allowed to move or run with the ball but instead you are allowed to pass and throw, thus teamwork becomes critical in the sport. In a typical korfball match, girls mark guys while guys mark girls when the game is on-going.

Defended Shots:
Now, if you are in a defensive position, you will called a foul if you try to shoot the ball to the basket. That is not allowed as per the regular norms of the sport. A defender in korfball or a player in a defensive position in the game of korfball is merely trying to block any advances of the opponents trying to score a point in the basket. There are certain criteria that need to be met if you are a defender. The criteria are as follows:

  • The defender needs to be close to an attacking player of the team such that their chests would touch.
  • The defender needs to be much closer to the scoring post in comparison to the attacker.
  • Defenders have to be facing any of the many attackers at any point of times.

The general positions of the game include Collect/rebound, feed/assist. Most coaches stress on perfecting the former position than the later as it is what ultimately decides the fate of the game. Unlike the collect position, the feed position is more about setting up another of your players to score a goal in the run.

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