There are 55 sports clubs at the University, from Rugby and Hockey to Ultimate Frisbee and Benchball, so no matter what your sporting background is there’s something for you at Birmingham! One of the many sports the University offers is the relatively new discipline of Korfball – a sport that unless you’re in it, you never really know what it is or how it’s played! We thought we better chat to someone in the know, to get the lowdown on the ins, outs…ups and downs of the sport, so we talked to Charley Lewis, president of the Korfball club, to find out more.
It requires a similar skill set from both Netball and Basketball, but it is a completely different sport from either of them in its own right. A few main differences include 1) Its mixed gender 2) Everyone gets the opportunity to both attack and defend during the same game 3) You can’t shoot if your defender is between you and the post with their arm up.
It is an exciting, dynamic, unique sport with loads of opportunities to score goals and play as part of a friendly team.
The aim of the game is to score into the korf (hoop), where one goal is one point. The korf is a 3.5m tall backless post, and you can only shoot if you are a significant distance from your opponent so creating dynamic space is the key. The team who scores the most wins! Both teams swap ends after every 2 goals are scored, meaning the people attacking go into defence and the people in defence go into attack. In defence the main aim is to stop your opponent scoring by standing between them and the post with your arm up, creating a defended shot.
The teams are mixed, so during a match in a team you have four boys and four girls on the court – this would be two girls and two boys at each end. Girls can only mark girls and boys can only mark boys which not only keeps it fair but also gives the opportunity to create skilled attacking moves to get away from your defenders to get space and shoot!
The yellow ones!
I started Korfball when I started at Birmingham in my first year and haven’t looked back since! Every single person at the club is super friendly and it’s a great mix of competitive players and social members. The fact that it is mixed creates a great team dynamic both on the court and at socials. I think because not many people have heard of the sport before it attracts sporty individuals who are up for trying something new. so if this sounds like you, Korfball could be the sport to try!
Since being part of the club I have had numerous opportunities to participate in BUCS competitions and even come away with a medal. We train three times a week and have weekly league matches so its a great way to keep fit as well as take part in competitive sport. Every year we go on tour to Amsterdam at the end of the season, which is a great way to top off the year of sport. Also, regular socials include the weekly sports nights (where the fancy dress comes out in full force!), bowling, Rush trampoline park, and paint-balling to name just a few! The socials create a fantastic club atmosphere where I can say I’ve made some of my closest friends at uni!
As a newbie to Korfball it is completely up to you how seriously you want to take it. Trials are held towards the start of the year but there’s constantly chances to progress and move up teams throughout the year.
In my first year of Korfball I was initially selected for the development (5th) team, and through attending training regularly and with the support of the high-level coaching on offer I managed to progress to the second team and win a BUCS bronze medal by the end of the year!
I am now (after just two years of being involved in the sport) president of the UoB Korfball Club and a member of the Irish National Squad! So don’t worry if you have never played before, you’ll pick it up really quickly and find the team and level that suits you!
If you fancy giving Korfball a go, or want to find out more and see it for yourself, make sure to head along to the Munrow Arena on Tuesday 25 September between 11am – 11.50am to meet the club and try and shoot a hoop yourself, or pay a visit to their stand at the Sports Fair on 26 September!