More international youth competitions and the introduction of other disciplines; those were the main focus in the discussion on the second day of the IKF World Korfball Congress.
The IKF Competitions Committee proposed a new age structure and extension for international youth competition. While currently the IKF organizes World Championships for U23, and Continental Championships U21, it was decided to align those. Given the rapid developments of players, the U23 and senior championships show so much overlap in team composition, that there Congress showed wide support for replacing the U23 World Championship by and U21 World Championship. In 2016, the last IKF U23 World Championship will be held. Further, in younger age groups there are currently no championships, although the IKF patronizes a long traditions of World Cups for U19 and U16. While the patronizing will remain, the IKF will start with an official U19 World Championship, and with Continental Championships for the U17 and U15 age groups. The formats and starting years will be set by each of the continents. It was agreed that the U15 Championships should have more of a festival nature. Further, the European continent, having the the strongest competitions, intends to open up its U17 and U15 events to team from other continents by invitation.
The second major topic for which the IKF Council received wide support was to develop a new korfball discipline, provisionally denoted as korfball4. This compact format, primarily targeted at outdoor hardcourt competitions, but being defined so flexibly that it can be played both indoor and outdoor, should open up new markets for attracting people to korfball. Extensive ideas for positioning, branding, and rules were brought forward by the delegates that embraced the new initiative. The IKF Council will now form a task force that is expected to develop the concept before the middle of next year, with the first events held in 2015.
At the day’s conclusion, the IKF shared its recent initiatives in the areas of communication and social media. For the latter, a new social media strategy will deliver extended multimedia content as from early 2015.
Dr Jan Fransoo, IKF President, – @korfballpres – spoke in his final words to the Congress of a very successful congress and he thanked all delegates for their valuable contributions: “Your support gives the IKF Council even more inspiration on the way we go”.