WHATSOC? Korfball!

Only three years old and already national champions, it was about time the Soton Tab caught up with Southampton University Korfball Club (SUKC), better known as the Spartans. We started with […]

freshers Korfball Sport University of Southampton whatsoc

Only three years old and already national champions, it was about time the Soton Tab caught up with Southampton University Korfball Club (SUKC), better known as the Spartans. We started with the obvious:

What is korfball? Could you run us through the rules?

Korfball is a mixed-gender Dutch sport with similarities to basketball and netball. The sport takes its name from the Dutch word “korf” which just means basket. The baskets are huge, standing 3.5m, and without a backboard to make scoring even harder. A korfball team is made up of four guys and four girls. You play in two divisions but swap round every two goals so everyone has to play everywhere. The defending is pretty unique. You can only mark a player of the same sex, and you do so by staying within an outstretched arm’s reach of them. Stay this close and they can’t score – it’s more difficult than it sounds honest!

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You’re only a young club, but what success have you already seen?

Our biggest achievement was becoming National Champions last year. I still don’t know how we managed it as we went 8-2 down in the semi final, and came back to win on penalties. It was crazy!

We also won the local Chris Carter Cup last season. It was a great day as we mixed players from the first and second teams. It really showed the depth of our club. We finished off our season in style sealing the hat-trick with the local league title too – we won every single match.

What would you say is the best thing about your club?

I can only pick one thing? It would have to be how close we all are. We’re one big family. We train together, play together and party together. It’s a great bunch of people to be around, and as most people start playing with no prior experience, you’re all in the same boat to begin with. It makes getting to know people much easier.

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What are the socials like as a Spartan?

Well our annual tradition for the first social of the year involves dressing up as a Spartan and marching down Portswood to Jesters. The twist being that everyone has balloons tied to their wrists, which get popped to reveal challenges and forfeits inside. We’ve also done an Olympic-style games night, a beer pong tournament and trips to the casino. 

Why should someone who perhaps hasn’t heard of korfball come to a taster session?

We’re doing two free introduction sessions on Saturday 26th, 5-6pm and 6-7pm. They’re going to be in the Old Sports Hall (at the bottom of the Student Union building). If you’re curious about korfball – even a little – you should definitely come along and drag your friends!

We’ll be running some demonstrations but most of it will be getting people to take part in drills and games. Unlike other clubs, we don’t hold trials to get into our teams. We expect people to be complete beginners. This year we’ve created a new “development team” designed to give new players proper game-time but in a more causal capacity.

Well, thanks for chatting with us. We’ve left the biggest question until last… Jesters or Sobar?

Definitely Jesters!

If you fancy having a go, join their Facebook group, tweet them at @SotonKorfball, or visit their website.