Rules of Korfball

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.

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