Korfball – Facts and Rules of the Netherlands Sports

Korfball Field
Have you ever heard of the sport called Korfball? The game is probably new to you, but it’s a popular ball sport in the Netherland. Korfball is similar to basketball and netball. The game was invented by Nico Broekhuysen, a school teacher, in the Netherlands about a century ago. 
Korfball is a mixed-sex sport played by two teams of eight players each — four male and four female players. There are approximately over 90,000 Korfball players and about 500 clubs in the Netherlands. Women and men compete together in this sport. 
Continue reading to discover the origin of Korfball, rules of the games, Korfball equipment, how to play the game, Korfball sports betting, and more.

A brief history of Korfball

Nico Broekhuysen founded Korfball in 1902 while teaching his students in Amsterdam. He was inspired by a Swedish game called “ringboll” which he learned about while he was on an educational course in Sweden. In ringboll, players score by throwing a ball through a ring attached to a three-meter pole. Both men and women play Ringboll.
When Broekhuysen returned to Amsterdam, he decided to teach his students the Swedish game. However, instead of using a ring, he replaced it with Korf (the Dutch word for basket) to make it easy to see whether a player had scored or not. Furthermore, Broekhuysen simplified the rule of the game to make it easier for all ages to understand and participate in the sport. 
At first, people refused to give the new sports any attention because both men and women competed together in the game. At a point, the players were accused of being immoral. Despite all the criticisms, Korfball featured in the Summer Olympics of 1920 and 1928 as a demonstration sport. 
After this event, the sport continues to gain wide acceptance. It is now being played in over 60 countries, including England, the United States, Wales, Greece, India, South Africa, Nigeria, Sweden, Ireland, and Hong Kong.

Korfball and sports betting

Aside from recording increasing participation on a yearly basis, Korfball is also becoming a popular betting option in the Netherlands. If you are a Netherland punter that wants to try out something different, Korfball is an excellent option to consider.

Rules of the game

Below are some Korfball rules you should know:
•  Korfball is played with the hands only. 
•  Players are not allowed to move with the ball in their hands.
•  Players are not allowed to take a shot if the opposition player is within their arm’s length.
•  Minimal physical contact is allowed in Korfball — tackling and holding are not permitted.
•  The size of the Korfball indoor court should be 20m x 40m, while the outdoor court should be 30m x 60m
•  A Korfball team shall consist of four female and four male players.
•  Teams change sides after every second goal, i.e., the attacker change to defender and vice versa. 
•  A Korfball match consists of two halves – lasting 35 minutes each, and there is a 10-minute break after each half.
•  The aim of the Korfball game is to win points by throwing the ball through the opponent’s basket.
•  After the end of the game, the team with the most points is declared the winner of the match.
•  If the teams have equal points at the end of the game, the match is declared a draw.

Equipment needed for a korfball match

The only essential equipment needed for a Korfball match is the ball. Only balls approved by the International Korfball Federation (IKF) are allowed. The ball should weigh between 445g and 475g. In addition, the circumference of the ball should be between 68cm and 70.5cm. Aside from the ball, players are expected to wear suitable shoes and strips. 

Things that are not allowed in Korfball

1. Any physical contact that can obstruct the other player’s movement.
2. Players are not allowed to knock the ball out of the other player’s hand.
3. Players are not permitted to move from one place to the other while holding the ball. 
4. Players are not allowed to play outside their zone, i.e., attackers are only allowed to attack within their zone, and defenders can only defend within their zone.
5. Korfball players are not allowed to touch the ball with their foot or leg.
6. Marking a player of the opposite sex is not permitted in Korfball. 

Some interesting facts about Korfball

•  A Dutch teacher, Nico Broekhuysen, invented Korfball in 1902. His goal was to create a sport that both sexes can play together. 
•  Korf means basket in Netherland, so Korfball simply means basketball. However, Korball and basketball are two different sports.
•  Korfball is played in about 70 countries by more than a million people.
•  This popular Netherlands sport also has a beach version.
•  Aside from the eight-a-side version, Korfball also has a four-a-side version. 
•  You can play Korfball on almost any surface, including grass, AstroTurf, ice, and more.
•  Korfball is recognized as an Olympic sport.

Difference between Korfball and basketball

Although there are some similarities between Korfball and basketball, both sports are different. Korfball is played by two teams of 8 players each, while basketball is played by two teams of five players on each side. Furthermore, a korfball team features both men and women while a basketball team has only one sex.    Additionally, the Korfball basket is mounted on an 11ft pole while the basketball hoop is 10ft high. Another difference between the two sports is that players can’t move with the ball in Korfball, while they can dribble with the ball in basketball.


Korfball is a fast-growing sport in the UK, US, Europe, Africa, and many other countries. It is an all-exclusive sport that allows men and women to compete together. The sport is fast gaining acceptance worldwide. Korfball is a fun and fast-paced game anyone would love to watch and play.