HOLLAND - Korfball, a sport unique to America but growing in popularity, will
again be showcased at Hope College when tryouts are held for the U.S. team that will compete in the 2007 World Cup, on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10-11.
Korfball was introduced to the West Michigan sports scene in 2005 by Hope
College professor and softball coach Karla Wolters. The sport had caught her
fancy when she saw the game played in the early 1990s and after researching
the popular European coed game. She now teaches a class in korfball and is a
member of the International Korfball Federation. Last summer Wolters took a
team comprised of Hope students and alumni to Europe for a series of games.
USKF will bring players from throughout the U.S. to Hope for the two-day
tryout. They will include a high school team from West Virginia and a
contingent of Hope students and recent graduates. Training will occur Friday (Nov. 10) at the Dow Center and a series of games will be played Saturday (Nov. 11) at the DeVos Fieldhouse.
Games on Saturday morning will be played 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon and in the afternoon at 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Admission will be free. The U.S. team will be announced at the end of the games.
The Korfball World Cup will be played in the city of Brno in the Czech
Republic in October, 2007.
Korfball dates back to 1902 and is billed as the world's only coed team sport.
Korf is a Dutch word for basket and elements of the game are similar to
basketball. There are baskets at each end of the court, but no backboards.
There is no dribbling; only passing. A team consists of four players, two men
and two women. Each shot is worth one point.
Current Hope College students planning to try out are sisters Amanda and Erika
Guijarro of Los Angeles, Calif., Kendra Scanlon of Holton, Chris Olds of
Brainerd, Minn., Matt Simon of Grand Rapids, Aaron Kenemer of Zeeland, Mike
Forbes of Lone Tree, Iowa, Chris Maybury of Holland, and Antoine Williams of
Holland. Recent Hope grads expected to try out include Emily Adams, Gracia
Kamps, Julie McGowan and Tyler Basler.
A Brief Overview of Korfball
Korfball traces its origins back to the Dutch teacher Nico Broekhuysen.
Broekhuysen developed the game in 1902 and dubbed it Korfball. "Korf" is
Dutch for basket, so "Korfball" literally means basketball, which the game
does mimic in some ways. Korfball was very progressive for its time as it is
a co-ed game where equality and cooperation are the key principles.
Some key components of the game of Korfball include a basket 11 ½ feet above
the ground (compared to 10 feet in basketball) - with no backboard - attached
to a post. There are eight players on the field of play (which can be either
indoors or outside); four on the offensive zone of the field and four on the
defensive side of the field. A zone is very much comparable to a half-court
in basketball. The co-ed aspect of the game is achieved by having two male
and two female athletes make up the four athlete total that the team must have
in each zone.
Other key features of the game include a rule that does not allow a player in
possession of the ball to move - a rule much like that of Ultimate Frisbee's.
Also, to create better equality, members of the opposite sex may not hinder an
opponent trying to pass the ball. Korfball uses a penalty system much like
that of soccer's, with referees giving out yellow cards and red cards,
depending on the severity of an athlete's wrong-doing.
Also of interest, the scoring system in Korfball is derived from soccer, with
each goal counting as one point. A match is typically comprised of two
thirty-minute halves and final scores are usually in high teens for the
winning team and low teens for the losing team depending on the closeness of