Dutch sorts of sports
Somewhere beyond the Olympics and European Championships there is another world of competition, skills and passions. Played in farmers fields, over water, on streets, indoor courts and precariously positioned in the air, there are amazing Dutch sorts of s
Whether born of necessity or boredom, many of these sports originated in the north of the Netherlands and popularity has since moved on to national and international levels of participation.
Dutch farmers have traditionally used long poles to spring from field to field to cross over the irrigation water drain- age channels that run through their fields; obviously a handy skill in tracking down wayward sheep and recalcitrant cows. From the springing a sport has sprung called fierljeppen, a Friesian word for pole-jumping. Old paintings by Brueghel show Dutchmen crossing the canals by jumping. Early written records of fjerlippen are from the year 1200, and the oldest match dates from 1771, organised by an innkeeper from the village Baard. Competitors had to jump over a canal behind his establishment in order to win a silver ball.
Korfball is a popular sport that dates back to 1902 and is played in around 57 countries with a national korfball committee and is similar to netball and basketball. The team consists of four men and four women; its mixed
gender and “clean” game play, (little physical contact and strategy play), contribute to its popularity. On an indoor court, each team tries to win by scoring more goals through a basket. From 1985 to 2013, the Dutch have remained the champions of the IKF World Championships held every four years.
Klootschieten means literally “ball shooting”. Participants attempt to throw a ball ( kloot) as far as they possibly can. There are three styles: field, street and sitting ( veld, straat and zetten). In the field ( veld) version of Klootschieten, the intention is to reach a particular patch of grass and/or sand in as few throws as possible (similar in this respect to golf ). Feel inspired to take up a new sport then head along to a fjerlippen competition or learn how to play korfbal in your local team. «