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

ACCESS Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - BY CON­NIE MOSER

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.

Fierl­jep­pen

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.

Korf­bal

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

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. «

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