A Dutch sport viewed as a ‘mix between netball and basketball’ is experiencing a boom in Nottingham with clubs calling out for new members.
Since being invented more 100 years ago by a Dutch school teacher, Korfball has had a brief stint in the Olympics and has been featured in the World Games since 1985.
It’s a well-established sport with a long history, which makes it even more surprising you’ve likely never heard of it.
Korfball combines basketball and netball – two popular sports – to create a unique hybrid of what is also the world’s only mixed-gender sport.
Each team is composed of four women and four men and it is becoming increasingly popular in Nottingham.
According to the International Korfball Federation, the sport is played by hand on a rectangular playing field where each team has the aim of shooting a ball into a 3.5m tall korf (Dutch for basket).
The team is split into two zones, attack and defence, with two men and two women in each.
After two goals are scored, the divisions switch and the attackers become defenders and vice versa.
Additionally, players can only defend players of the same sex.
Each goal is worth one point, and one of korfball’s most important characteristics is the need for teamwork to score, as the game does not allow walking with the ball, just like basketball.
The city has a host of clubs to join for all ages.
It has huge appeal for students, with teams at both Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and the University of Nottingham (UoN).
Lilah Wooldridge, 22, who is a second year Psychology with Criminology student at NTU, has been playing Korfball since she was five years old.
“Initially I was drawn to Korfball because it was a sport my whole family could play together, as the sport is mixed gender and you can play with people of all ages,” she said.
“I really like the fact it’s a mixed gender sports, where boys and girls have an equal role in both attacking and defending.”
She plays for the NTU Korfball team, which won the gold medal at the 2022 National Plate BUCS competition, as well as coming sixth in the 2023 National Trophy competition.
“Initially I was drawn to korfball because it was a sport my whole family could play together”
Lilah Woolridge, NTU korfball player
Lilah says the team’s next goal is to get the first team into the National Championships and the second team into Trophy.
The team, which has made progress in the last few years, is open to new members and encourages beginner students to give it a go.
And two other clubs in Nottingham are calling for new members and are open to all ages and abilities.
The Nottingham Korfball Club, which practices at the Nottingham Wildcats Arena, often plays matches against other Midlands teams such as Birmingham City and Loughborough.
Nottingham Magic Korfball Club, based in Bilborough, is also open to beginners and is looking for new players.
Describing itself as a friendly, social and competitive club, it has also found success in regional matches and its players beaten the Leicester Tornadoes and the University of Lincoln.
Whether you already play sport or you’re a total beginner, if you think Korfball sounds like something you’d like to try there are plenty of ways to get involved in Nottingham.
Information for students wanting to join either of the university korfball teams can be found on both the NTU and University of Nottingham websites.
Information on the Nottingham Korfball Club can be found on their Facebook and Instagram pages, while information on the Nottingham Magic Korfball Club can be found on their website, Magickorball.club.