Korfbal: water polo without the pool, basketball without the backboard


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December 10th 2006
Published: December 24th 2006
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KorfbalKorfbalKorfbal

4 girls, 4 guys always and you can only block a person of the same sex.
I returned to Enschede Saturday evening from a friend and family-packed weekend in Edam and Amsterdam. I checked my email and a nice lady from the university named Susanna sent me an email inviting me to watch a Korfbal game. A what game? I had never heard of Korfball before - it sounds more like a German baked good with sausage meat inside or something.

I figured I could research ahead of time on the internet to find out what Korfbal was, but I decided to skip the brainy research and just blindly go there waiting to be surprised. Susanna is my coordinator/liason at my university. She's the one that always offers me a cup of coffee whenever I come to visit her, the one that reassured me after I busted into her office crying with the exam crisis, and and the one that will eventually be responsible for sending my grades to UW. She is a very important person.

I met her and her 12 year old daughter, Anouk (pronounced "Ah-nook"), at the stadium only 5 minutes by bike from my house. How convenient! I found out right away as I entered the stadium (indoors and heated, thank
KorfbalKorfbalKorfbal

Considered a non-contact sport, but they fall a LOT on their knees and also jam their fingers! ouch!
goodness) that the Korfbal community is very close-knit and everybody knows everybody else. I realized this because I got some "who are you" stares and Susana and Anouk greeted everybody they saw.

We took seats on the bleachers and I watched the two teams warm up. First off, the floor was blue so I'm not sure if it was lightly padded or made out of a rubbery material. There were two poles on either side of the court that I estimate were about 10 feet tall. Instead of a normal basketball fixture, there was just a plastic hoop but without a net or a backboard.

(readers note: I'm writing this 2 weeks after it happened...)

After the game that we won, Susanna and Anouk invited me to ride with them to the city for some ice cream. They were so nice and the ice cream was great too - even with it being close to freezing outside. Afterwards, Anouk wanted to go on the big ferris wheel that was set up in the center of the city for the holidays. I think the last time I was on a ferris wheel was when I was in Texas, but I really can't remember. It's one of those things that you always look at but then think you already went on one recently. When I really think about it, it was over 10 years most likely since I've been on one. It was absolutely freezing up there but the view of the city was great.

After that, we rode home in the same direction. I immediately got home and bundled up with some coffee and a blanket to warm up.


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Little EnschedeLittle Enschede
Little Enschede

The view of the city center from way above.


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