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6.12 To push, to cling to, or to hold off an opponent

Whenever a player blocks the free movements of an opponent, deliberately or not and no matter whether this opponent does or does not possess the ball and even if the ball is in the other zone.

Examples of unlawful holding off are:

  • pushing;
  • running down;
  • landing on a stationary opponent after jumping;
  • a player intentionally positions himself where a jumping player will land;
  • preventing an opponent from standing up or jumping up;
  • bending into the path of a jumping opponent;
  • extending an arm or leg to an approaching or passing opponent thus forcing him to take a longer path around the first player;
  • deliberately move into the path of a defender stopping him to follow his opponent.

This rule does not force a player to give way for another player or to position himself just as he pleases unless he moves so suddenly into the path of a moving opponent that a collision becomes inevitable.

On the other hand, the attacker must try to avoid a collision with the defender. When he runs against a defender to put him off balance or when he pushes him out of his defending position with his arm or shoulder, then the attacker shall be punished.

The ban on holding off ensues directly from the fact that Korfball is a game of skills and not of strength.

Holding off by means of spreading out arms or legs does not necessarily mean actually preventing an opponent from moving. An infringement already occurs when the opponent is forced to take a longer path around the offending player to avoid his arms or legs.

It often occurs that two players touch each other in an effort to seize the ball. Such contact will only be punished if it is the result of recklessness or holding-off. In these cases, the referee has to decide who is to be blamed. This may be either the player to whom the ball is passed to or his opponent who tried to intercept it.

The so-called “jumping at the line” should only be punished if the opponent has been prevented to use his body freely. No offence is committed when the defender taps the ball before it has come within the reach of the attacker. On the other hand, an offence is committed if the defender, standing next to or behind the attacker, hangs over him, making it difficult for him to catch the ball and then taps the ball.

The tapping of the ball while jumping can only be punished if it leads to physical contact degenerating into running down or jumping-down.