Korfball drills for all skills


In short: exercise with the emphasis on turning away from the opponent.

Organisation: Each team has a ball and an area of about 20 by 20 metres. The players are numbered.

a ) Number 1 is attacking, number 2 is defending and numbers 3, 4 and 5 are playing together with the attacker. Everybody can move freely through the area. The attacker always gets the ball back from numbers 3, 4 and 5. The defender's task is to intercept the ball. Can the attacker manage not to lose the ball a single time? The ball may not fall on the ground either! After about 30 seconds the players change tasks: number 3 attacks, number 4 defends, etc. until everyone has been attacker and defender once.

b ) As a., but give the instruction that the attacker should always turn away from her defender: that way she can both pass and receive the ball back easily. I call this: 'cutting and turning', others call it 'keeping your opponent on your back'.

c ) As a., but now the team-mates 3, 4 and 5 stand still in a triangle with a distance of about 15 metres. This makes it more difficult for the attacker.

d ) It becomes even more difficult if the attacker is instructed to pass the ball to the other players in a fixed order. She now has to run in circles, so that the defender knows exactly where the ball will go, or where the attacker wants to run to. Many balls will now be intercepted, or at least touched.

e ) Again part c. Show that the attacker has an easier time of it now because of the freedom of choice By turning away from her opponent, she creates a sea of space for herself!

Inshort: simple exercises in playing together, where it is all about handling the ball in the run and running well.

Organisation: Groups of approximately 4 persons have a ball and are allocated a part of the hall or the field.

a ) The players are instructed to throw the ball to each other in random order. Everyone is constantly in motion: the ball must be caught in the run and passed back as quickly as possible. The ball may not fall on the ground once!

b ) One of the players is the 'worker' for 30 seconds: she has to run at high speed, and all balls are passed back to her continuously. After 30 seconds it's the next player's turn. In which group the ball won't be dropped once?

c ) Like exercise a., but now the ball may only be played to players who come running to the ball with a small sprint. Make it clear to the players that when they run like this, defenders have little chance of intercepting the ball. Unless there is forwards defending, but for that there is part d:

d ) The players play together again, but now they may only throw to players who are moving away from the ball and therefore into free space. Also an individual skill: taking a penalty throw.

e ) Alternating part c. and d.: it is only allowed to throw to players who are either clearly moving towards the ball or who want to play, otherwise many balls will not arrive in free space. It is even so, that the exercise is probably better.

f ) As d., but now there must be a sweep: the players will move towards the one with the ball first if there is a slight threat from a defender! run, but after a few passes they stop, and run the other way, into free space.


1 ) All parts can of course also be performed with opponents. You can then choose between 'play along' and 'try to intercept as many balls as possible'.

2 ) The parts a. up to e. but now without each group having its own area: all players are mixed up, so you have to be careful!

Free running: condition for playing together


Inshort: a ball game, in which pure throwing is very important.

Organisation: In a rectangle of approx. 20 metres length and 10 metres width, two teams of about 6 players are lined up. A centre line divides the field in two. At both back sides is a strip of 1 to 2 metres wide. The players of side A stand in section A, while one player from A stands in lane A. The players of side B stand, except for one player, in section B. The players must try to hit the players of the other side with the ball. They are not allowed to leave their section. Furthermore the players are not allowed to run with the ball in their hands. Fending with the hands is allowed. If a player is hit, he goes to the back of the court and plays with the ball. Will one of the players succeed in clearing the other team's box? Make sure the hunters do not start throwing hard. If this is likely to cause problems, decide that the throw can only be made via a bounce. Make sure they do not start throwing very hard. If this threatens to cause problems, determine that only a bumping throw may be made.


1 ) If a player can catch a ball from the opposing team, the player who threw is off.

2 ) Exchange referee: if a player from the back lane hits the ball, he may return to his own section.

3 ) The strips at the back are extended with side strips, so that the compartments are completely enclosed.

Inshort: a game of catch with a ball, in which throwing is important.

Organisation: All players are spread out in a space of about 20 by 15 metres. Two players are the hunters.

The hunters play together with a (soft) ball and try to throw the other players off. The one who is hit, keeps on playing. How many times do the hunters succeed in hitting someone? After 45 seconds two new hunters.

In short: practising all sorts of tricks with the ball, mainly with the aim of developing a feeling for the ball.

Organisation: every player has a ball, everyone is free to move around the room. If there are not enough korfballs, it is not a problem to use volleyballs, basketballs or even tennis balls.

(a ) The players bounce the ball around the room.

b ) The bouncing must be done alternately with the left and the right.

c ) The ball is thrown up (high) and caught in the jump. First, jump up high and catch the ball at the highest point, later also from the run.

d ) As c., but catch with one hand (alternately with left and right). Let this part be practised in the run as well.

e ) The players hold the ball in front of their body, throw the ball over their head in a small arc and try to catch the ball behind their body (without turning around!).

f ) As e., but now with the players walking or dribbling through the hall.

g ) The ball is thrown up, the players make a quick turn, and catch the ball again.

h ) The ball is thrown up, the players sit down, immediately get up again and catch the ball before it falls to the ground.

i ) Players stand still. They throw the ball with their right arm extended over their head and catch the ball with their left hand and vice versa. Let them do the same in the run.

j ) Turn the ball around the belly by passing it from one hand to the other. (The ball may not touch the body).

k ) The ball makes a corkscrew movement around the body: as j, but starting with turning the ball around the head, then chest height, belly height, hip height etc. till the toes.

l ) Making a circular movement of the ball with stretched arms: 'swing' the ball above the head with the right arm, take it over on the left arm, let it drop with a big curve until in front of the knees, take it over on the right hand again, etc. m. Playing the ball with the right hand under the raised right leg (like with knee lifts) over the left hand. Then put the right leg down, lift the left knee and pass the ball with the left hand under the left upper leg to the right hand, etc. The exercise is performed with a straight back!

n ) Stand in a forward bent stance. Move the ball around both legs in a figure of eight motion.

In short: exercises in catching and throwing close to the lines of the box.

Organisation: every foursome has a ball. Each foursome works near a line. Explain a piece of line of about 15 metres per foursome.

Why these exercises? The catching and throwing of the ball has to take place within the lines of the box or outside the box, provided that the player and the ball do not touch the ground outside the lines. Balls that threaten to go outside the box, for example, must be kept in, which does not require a special technique, but rather a sense of timing. And that can and must be trained.

a ) An exercise for keeping the ball in when it threatens to go 'out'. The ball is thrown in by the regular ballplayer A a little outside the 'box'. The players come from the front along the line and have to play the ball back to the declarer in a small jump (take off on the right side of the line!). Then they have to join the line again. The server throws the ball further and further outside the box. Very soon it will appear that some players, who used to be hardly able to handle a ball thrown 10 centimetres outside the box, are now quite capable of keeping a ball that is a metre 'out' in the box. A matter of timing and a bit of daring.

b ) Same exercise, but now the ball, thrown by declarer A, has to be placed by the players to a second declarer at B (so a quarter-turn has to be made outside the box in the jump).

c ) In exercise a. and b. the players walked along the line, now they come walking straight to the line. Again, handler A throws the ball a little outside the 'box'. The players must try to:

1) keep the ball inside (it doesn't matter how or where it lands), In all exercises below the ball is kept inside with the right side. In all the exercises below, the ball is kept in with the right hand. Therefore, after a while, have the players stand on the other side of the line and continue the exercise as usual to practice keeping the ball in with the left hand.

2 ) Play the ball back to ball handler A,

3 ) pass the ball to a second initiator at B,

4 ) play the ball straight into the field to the row of players at C.

d ) An exercise in jumping. Attacker A1 plays the ball to fellow attacker A2, who stands still just behind the line. Defender V2 has to try, by jumping in front of A2 and without touching the line or the ground on the other side of the line, to throw the ball to fellow-player V1. Or better said: tap, because that's what it actually is. Remember not to hit the ball with your fist! Change function regularly.


Inshort: exercises in catching balls that bounce or roll at the right moment.

Organisation: one ball per pair or trio.

(a) The numbers 1 and 2 of each pair stand next to each other. Number 1 rolls the ball a few metres away. Number 2 has to get the ball, pick it up and throw it back as fast as possible. Change after 5 games. Make sure the players 'get' the ball as soon as possible by putting one hand on it as soon as possible.

b ) As a., but now number 1 throws the ball away with a small curve, in such a way that it bounces on the ball at a distance of about 4 metres (and then makes a bounce of about half a metre high). Number 2 must try to get the ball as soon as possible after the bounce.

c ) As b., but now number 1 drops the ball from a height of 1.5 metres just in front of number 2. He/she has to try again to get the ball as soon as possible after the bounce. It will appear that almost everyone lets the ball rise a little and then catches it. Wrong (in the meantime an opponent can quickly put his/her hand on the ball). At the very moment that the ball is about to come up, the hand should be placed on the ball Take that ball!

e ) Three teams, the ball stays in the middle. He rolls the ball a few meters away. As soon as the ball is loose, the other two may run. Who has the ball first? Change after 3 times.

d ) As d., but now the ball is thrown by the declarer with a small curve, in such a way that the ball bounces on a distance of about 4 meters (and would make a bounce of about half a meter high). Which of the two 'workers' is first to get the ball by putting his hand on it?

f ) As e., but now from under a basket. The one who gets the ball first may make a turnover ball.

g ) Like b., but now with threes. Who reacts the fastest?

Inshort: throwing and catching with an obstructing defender.

Organisation: number three teams, each team has a ball and a piece of the hall or field of about 10 by 10 metres, marked out by pawns or lines.

a ) Loosening up: number 1 and 2 play back and forth in the limited space while number 3 tries to touch the ball. If they succeed, the person who threw the touched ball has to move to the middle (unless the other person could have caught the ball, in which case that person is the loser).

Variation: for more advanced players to keep up the speed of the game: if number 3 taps a player who still has the ball in his hands, then that player also has a turn to be 'lumped'. Of course, loafing with larger numbers of players is also possible.

b ) Number 1 and number 2 stand still at about 10 metres from each other. Number 3 defends number 1, who has the ball. Number 1 must pass the ball cleanly to number 2, over or past the obstructing defender. Then number 3 passes to number 2, who must then throw to number 1 cleanly.

1) With a sling throw (overhand over the defender),

2) with an underhand pendulum throw, under the arms of the defender (favorite of some small underdog korfball players).

3 ) with a bounce, where the ball has to be placed with one hand because of the rather large distance (which is not easy),

4 ) rolling would also be possible, but is not very 'in' with korfball players for quite understandable reasons,

5 ) by pivoting, which is the emphatic moving of one leg to and fro, thus putting the defender out of position. For example, the player with the ball in his hands makes a substantial step backwards with his left leg. If the defender does not follow this move, there is quite a distance between them, allowing the thrower to pass the ball over the defender with relative ease. Most defenders will therefore move closer to the attacker. At that moment, however, the attacker has waited: the ball is (already) taken on the right hand side and the left leg is immediately placed forward again in such a way that the body of the attacker has come between the defender and the ball (the defender is 'held on the back') and there is room to place the ball towards the team-mate. And it doesn't work immediately? No problem, just move the same foot back and forth a few times and the defender will be tricked. Many children find this pivoting beautiful to do; so they do it very often (but then also far too often).

c ) Number 1 and 2 play together, while number 3 defends number 1. The difference with the previous part is that now they can move in space. After about 45 seconds, the players change tasks. For good throwing, see the possibilities mentioned under b.

d ) As a condition exercise a variation on c.: number 3 defends first number 1 for 30 seconds and then number 2 for 30 seconds. After that it is number 1's turn to defend and finally number 2.

e ) Like c., but to make it more difficult for number 1: number 2 stands still on a fixed spot, so the defender knows exactly where to put the ball.


Inshort: simple catching and throwing in a circle.

Organisation: Form circles of about 6 players, standing 5-15 metres apart depending on level. One ball per circle. The players are numbered in the order in which they stand in the circle.

a ) The ball is played around in the circle, without the ball touching the ground. After a while a game: which circle can play the fastest 5 times around?

b ) Number 1 has the ball, passes it to number 2 and runs after it. Number 2 plays the ball back to number 1, who passes to number 3 etc. In this way number 1 runs around the whole circle until he/she is back on his/her own place. Then it is the turn of number 2 and so on. After a while there is another game: in which circle did everybody have a turn first?

c ) Everyone in the circle stands still. They throw the ball at random to each other. The ball must not fall on the ground.

d ) Like c., but with 1 or 2 persons in the middle of the circle who must try to intercept the ball: the well-known loafing.

e ) As c., but now everyone runs after his own ball. So if number 1 plays at number 4, then 1 runs to the place of number 4. He takes his place there, because number 4 will play the ball and run after it, etc.

f ) Different variations on e.: all balls must be thrown with the 'wrong' hand, caught with one hand, or thrown with two hands over a long distance etc. All variations are possible. All variations are possible.

g ) Two persons, starting with number 1 and 2, stand in the middle of the circle. Number 1 is worker, number 2 defender. Number 1 plays the ball in random order to the players in the circle and immediately gets the ball back. Can he or she keep it up for 30 seconds, without the ball falling to the ground and without the defender intercepting it? Or: can the defender intercept the ball? Then the numbers 3 and 4, etc.

h ) Like g., but now the worker has to pass to the players in the circle in order (which is more difficult, because the defender knows who is going to get the ball).

i ) Number 1 stands in the middle of the circle, number 2 has the ball. The circle formation gives something familiar and is especially suitable for young children. During the exercises, the emphasis automatically comes to lie on free running, freeing the throwing hand, etc., in short: on korfball. An indication for exercise g. can be: try to keep the defender 'on your back', turn away from him! It is important to be able to throw with your left as well as your right. Number 2 plays the ball to number 1, runs after him and takes the place of number 1. Number 1 plays the ball to number 3, runs after him and takes his place, because: number 3 plays the ball to number 2 who is now in the middle of the circle, and runs after the ball etc. In this way, everyone in a row will be in the centre of the circle for a short time, while the ball goes around the circle playing back and forth. A nice exercise for beginners. It is also possible to make it a competition between several circles: which circle is the fastest to go around three times?

j ) Catch-up ball, a variation on i.: make a very large circle, in which everyone (e.g. all 12 players) takes a seat. Then put the numbers 1 and 7 in the middle, and give the numbers 2 and 8 the ball. Further the same exercise as with i. Can one ball overtake the other?


Catch-up ball occurs in many variations. A well-known variation is: everyone in the circle is numbered, for example 1 to 8. The numbers 1 and 4 have the ball. Now the odd numbers play the ball to each other and the even numbers do the same. Can one ball catch up with the other?