The game was first invented by Dutch school teacher Nico Broekhuysen. Upon a visit to Sweden in 1902, Broekhuysen learned a game called ring boll, where the object of the game was to throw a ball into a ring to score points. After going back to Holland, Broekhuysen replaced the ring with a basket (which incidentally is korf in Dutch) and made the rules easier. Due to his school having both male and female students, Broekhuysen made the rules so that those of different genders could play korfball together, and so the sport of korfball was invented.
So what makes play korfball different from similar sports like netball? Korfball’s philosophy is simple- team play is the most important thing. Running with the ball or dribbling it is not allowed- players must move the ball by passing it between team-mates. If the ball is received while a player is on the move, she or he must stop within two steps and give the ball to another player. While play korfball is a mixed gender game, it still tries to eliminate unfair advantages between man and woman. Players are paired up according to their gender- men mark men and women mark women. This means there are no situations where it is two players on one, making the game a lot fairer.
Korfball focuses on tactics rather than being physical, most physical contact is not allowed in the game. Acts like tackling, blocking and/or holding your opponent is disallowed. You are also not allowed to kick or punch the ball, and players may not move the korfball posts. The thing that makes it hard (and where tactics are required the most) is that a player may not shoot for the basket when he or she is defended, meaning that attacking teams must get a clear shot at goal before they are allowed to shoot.
The countries that korfball is most played in are Holland and Belgium, but the sport exists in over fifty countries around the world to this day. The International Korfball Federation was founded in 1993, and korfball has been played in the World Games since 1985. There is a Korfball World Championship every four years, the current holders of this are the country where it was first thought up in- the Netherlands (or Holland).