IKF Playing Rules 2022

The IKF Playing Rules Committee has published the IKF Playing Rules 2022, which can be found here.

Two years after the last update to “The Rules of Korfball”, most of the feedback received about the changes made has been very positive. The simple presentation of the rules was appreciated, as well as the elimination of rules that no longer made sense in the context of modern korfball. Therefore, there are just some minor adjustments to the published text this year, without changing any rules or game regulations except the one mentioned below.

Due to the experiments conducted in Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Hong Kong China, and The Netherlands during national competitions, the IKF has decided to make a change in the way korfball matches are conducted. To improve the quality of the game and to facilitate the refereeing, after receiving very positive reports of the experiments made, it was decided that from the 1st of September onwards, instead of having one referee and one assistant referee, the matches will be conducted by two referees with the same power and duties in the match.


IKF Playing Rules Experiments

The Rules of Korfball are defined by the International Korfball Federation and must be followed by all IKF members. However, countries may be interested in making experiments with the rules of the game, either by experimenting with changes to existing rules or by experimenting with new rules. The IKF encourages IKF members to do so in light of game development.

Following the IKF Playing Rules Experiments Procedure, the IKF informs the IKF members about this possibility every year, after which the National Federations can request an experiment at least 6 weeks before the start of the proposed experiment.

For more information, see Playing Rules Experiments Procedure 2021.


Image: Marco Spelten

The Rules of Korfball 2020

The IKF Playing Rules Committee (IKF PRC) has revised the korfball playing rules with the main goal of simplifying the document by making it shorter, clearer and easier to consult. Furthermore, the IKF PRC has evaluated the multiple korfball rules experiments carried out in the national competitions. This has resulted in a new version of The Rules of Korfball, which are valid as per 1 September.

The Rules of Korfball 2020 are accompanied by a document that outlines the changes made for the new version.

Links to documents: (also available on

The Rules of Korfball 2020

The Rules of Korfball 2020 changes

Exceptions and recommendations for competition regulations


President’s blog: 40 minute matches

(by Jan Fransoo – IKF President) This week at the IKF European Korfball Championship in the Netherlands and earlier this year at the IKF U23 World Korfball Championship in the Czech Republic we have been playing in a new match format: 40 minutes matches in two halves of 20 minutes, with each half split into two quarters of 10 minutes with a 45 second break in between. Over the course of the week, I have received many questions from different angles and also an interesting discussion on Facebook has been taking place. It is good to provide some background on what we are doing and why we are doing this. Below, I will try to answer some of the most common questions asked.

What is the formal status?

The formal status of this new playing time of 40 minutes is still an experiment. We have decided to do this at the U23 WKC, the EKC and next year at The World Games. We are continually evaluating this and I expect we will make a formal decision some time next year.

Why did we reduce the match length by 10 minutes?

There is actually a variety of reasons. The first reason is the protection of the athletes. Since in our tournament a lot of matches are played in a short period of time, and only a few rest days can be fit into a week’s tournament, the length of the matches actually has a significant impact on the athletes’ performance and their injuries. Medical advise tells us the number of injuries should go down and played should be less tired at the end of the week when the most important matches are played.

The second set of reasons relate to the spectator experience, both at the venue and remote (online or TV). Shorter matches avoid that sometimes a game tends to drag along, or strength differences between teams are very large. It is better to have a spectator fully engaged for the 40 minutes of a match, rather than have them engaged for 40 minutes out of a 50 minute match. We definitely need to further develop this, as we need to take better advantage of this new playing length by programming the matches shorter after one another, but definitely the shorter playing length does provide us with new opportunities.

IKF President Jan Fransoo

IKF President Jan Fransoo

Why are we playing in quarters rather than halves?

The main reason for this is the spectator experience, both at the venue and remotely. We have many great actions in the matches, but our game is so fast that there is barely time for replays and slow motions. Professional TV directors that have conducted live coverage of korfball matches have complained to us about this. Our great webcasting team has been able to show this week what can be done, with replays of great match action during the 45 second break. This can however be very well extended and we are welcome to have ideas on this. Within the venue, I think we definitely can do more to actively engage the audience during breaks, as especially the non-korfball audience expects more in terms of engagement. Some good examples were practised in Cali at The World Games and also some novelties were introduced in Olomouc. A better transfer of these practices to new organizers is needed and standards need to be formulated.

An interesting side effect of shorter period is that the average number of goals per minute tends to go up, so the intensity of the spectator experience is larger.

Will this have any effect for the length of play and number of periods in your national league?

That is up to your national organization. Once we have concluded the experimental phase, the IKF will make a decision for the international competitions. The length of play and number of period is a competency that resides with each national korfball association to decide on. Currently, there are already large differences, mainly determined by the fact whether a national league is running in a tournament format or in weekly or biweekly matches.

What if you have questions or suggestions?

In principle, your national korfball association is our point of contact, so they would need to be the first to get in touch with. However, the IKF is always open to receive ideas or suggestions, so that the IKF playing rules committee and the IKF competitions committee can take these ideas along. You can contact us by email at Furthermore, if you are a player in a national team, also be aware that the IKF Athletes Committee is there to voice the opinion of the athletes. You can contact them with any of your concerns or ideas. The members are Suzanne Struik (NED – chair), Ricky Wu (TPE), Isabel Almeida (POR) and Nikki Schilders (BEL).

I hope this helps you to better understand our deliberations on this topic.

Jan Fransoo

IKF President