In 1902 Nico Broekhuysen, a Dutch school teacher from Amsterdam, was sent to Nääs, a town in Sweden, to follow an educational course about teaching gymnastics to children. This is where he was introduced to the Swedish game 'ringboll'. Nico was inspired and when he returned to Amsterdam he decided to teach his students a similar game. He replaced the ring with a basket (for which the Dutch word is korf or mand), so it was easier to see if a player had scored or not. Broekhuysen also simplified the rules so children could also understand and play it. Korfball was born.
Korfball is the world's only dedicated mixed gender team sport. At first there was considerable controversy about the sport, because of that. The oldest still existing korfball club H.K.C. ALO from The Hague, Netherlands was founded in 1906. Yet korfball was featured as a demonstration sport in the Summer Olympics of 1920 and 1928. The International Korfball Federation (IKF) was founded in 1933 in Antwerp, Belgium. IKF World Korfball Championships have been held since 1978.