Believe it or not Korfball has been in the UK for around 70 years, but if you are anything like me, you may have never even heard of it. Well, it is making a come back and as I have a local team on my doorstep called Bristol Thunder, I decided to drop in for a visit.
I have to admit I really didn’t have a clue what I was letting myself, or two of my friends Ben Arthur and Jonathan Fenner, in for. Or thats what I thought, until I found out Ben had had a few sessions with a club called the Gloucester Lions, so suddenly we had sharp shooter amongst us.
You might be surprised to know that Korfball has mixed teams of eight, equal numbers of men and women. As I was to find out you can only defend against your own sex though, sorry for giving away that penalty guys! It definitely has a different feel in a mixed team, for the better.
The objective of Korfball is simple, score a point by putting the ball into the basket..or Korf as it is known in Korfball. The ball used in the game is a full sized football, and you get one point for a korf. Unlike basketball and netball, you can go behind the basket, although shooting from behind feels more difficult.
We were briefed on the basics of the game and joined in with the practice. Various shooting exercises gave us an opportunity to test out out potential, which personally wasn’t looking too good at first, but getting that first Korf was brilliant. It became quite addictive, and with some expert advice from various members of the club, my shooting was becoming much more accurate. Having said that, compared to what the club members were doing, still very basic.
After a good warm up we were split in to two teams and put in to a game. I was on the opposite team to Ben and Jonathan, so the pressure was on. It took me a few minutes to understand how things worked, but as I began to understand the tactics of the game, I started moving around more and really getting stuck in. Its quite an up-tempo game!
I had a few opportunities to score, but just couldn’t convert. Watching the club members work their magic was inspiring. They were quick on their feet and great at shooting, which made the game exciting and the more we played the more I wanted to score a korf.
I was finally put up against Ben, which I thought would be a great leveler, how wrong I was. His extra height and quick feet made it hard to keep up with him and shoot past him, but it was great fun taking on a friend!
I can honestly say that the three of us really enjoyed Korfball, more than we thought. If you want a game to keep you fit, this is a great option for you.
The Bristol Thunder Korfball club were so friendly and made the whole experience one to be remembered. If you would like to find out more about them, click on the link.