Korfball (Dutch: Korfbal) is a mixed gender team ball game, similar to mixed netball and basketball. It is played in 57 countries. The sport is popular in the Netherlands, Belgium and Taiwan, among others. A team consists of four female and four male players.
Korfball is played indoors or outdoors on a court divided into halves called zones. In each zone is a post [3.5 m (11.5 ft), shorter for children] with a basket at the top. This is positioned two thirds of the distance between the center line and the back of the zone. The ball is similar in size to that used in football (soccer), but with more grip and bounce. Players score by throwing the ball through the other team's basket. After two goals, the teams change zones: defenders become attackers and attackers become defenders. At half-time teams swap halves.
Men and women play side-by-side, but duels are man to man and woman to woman. One man may guard one man and one woman may guard one woman. A woman may not defend against a man nor vice-versa.
Each team tries to score using tactics. The rules prevent physical strength dominating the game. Blocking, tackling and holding are not allowed, nor are kicking or punching the ball. A player may not attempt to score when defended, which occurs when the defender is closer to the basket and facing his opponent, and is at arm's length and attempting to block the ball.
Korfball is derived from netball, which is in turn a variation of basketball.
Nico Broekhuysen, a Dutch school teacher, learned a game called ringboll in Sweden in 1902. Ringboll was the Swedish name for netball, called that because they used a simple ring rather than a net. Points are scored in ringboll by throwing the ball through a ring attached to a 3m post. Broekhuysen replaced the ring with a basket (for which the Dutch word is "korf" or "mand") and simplified the rules. They included letting men and women play at the same time.
Korfball is played in 57 countries including England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Poland, Greece, Serbia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, Germany, Taiwan, Turkey, Hong Kong, Portugal, Pakistan, Sweden, Philippines, Italy, France and Romania. It was a demonstration sport in the Olympic Games of 1920, held in Antwerp, Belgium and again in 1928 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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