EIKT 2016


The Edinburgh International Korfball Tournament 2016


This January, 24 teams from across the UK and Europe travelled to Edinburgh to compete in the Edinburgh International Korfball Tournament. Started by the Edinburgh University Korfball Club in 2003, this tournament has become one of the most popular and prestigious korfball tournaments in the UK.

In case you haven’t heard of it, korfball is a game that is often described somewhere between netball and basketball, but played with a mix of boys and girls on each team and the aim of putting as many goals as possible through the 3.5m high ‘korf’. The sport originated in the Netherlands, but has now spread across Europe and to the rest of the world.

EIKT is a hugely popular tournament, and is fairly unique in that it brings together teams from both universities and city clubs across the UK and Europe. This year 24 places were offered, and the selected teams ranged from as nearby as St Andrews, to as far away as Italy, Portugal and Holland.

Teams arrived on the Friday evening and international bonds were forged at the welcome social at the Three Sisters that evening. However, any hangovers soon dissipated the next morning, with the first games of the group stages commencing at 9am at Sighthill sports hall. The first morning saw EUKC 1 and 3 coming up against the likes of St Andrews 1, Nova from Italy, and Galaxias from Athens. With 15 minute matches and only a 1-minute turn-around in between, the pace was fast and games were hard fought. In the afternoon, the group stages included Team Holland taking on Saint Andrews Alumni, and the Cardiff Raptors coming up against Lancaster. The day finished with both EUKC 1 and the Edinburgh Uni Alumni team qualifying for the top stages of the Sunday knock-out rounds, along with the teams from Holland, Italy and Greece.

With the group stages complete, visiting teams returned to their hotels or Edinburgh hosts to exchange trainers for dancing shoes before heading out for the true Scottish experience of a ceilidh at Teviot. Despite some near collisions, several highly confused Italians, and one despairing ceilidh caller, the evening was a huge success, completed with an almost entirely incoherent rendition of ‘Flower of Scotland’. The visiting teams were then treated to yet another classic and authentic Edinburgh experience in the form of Saturday night Hive.

The Sunday morning saw several more hangovers and slumped bodies around the edge of the hall for a 9am start, but the teams soon recovered and threw themselves into the knock-out stages of the tournament. EUKC 2 and 3 took on the likes of St Andrews 2 and Nottingham, whilst EUKC 1 fought hard against Galaxias and Saints Alumni. Going into the finals, EUKC 1 suffered a close loss against Northern Storm to finish 8th, and the stage was set for an exciting final between Team Holland and the Edinburgh Mavericks (an Edinburgh city team).

With the possibility of an Edinburgh win for the first time in the history’s tournament, the atmosphere was tense as the Dutch team took to the court to defend their country’s sport. The game was fast-paced and exciting, with both teams giving it their all. Team Holland began to pull ahead and Mavericks struggled to keep up with the pace as the game went on. Eventually, despite some nice goals from Mavericks, Team Holland showed their true prowess and finished the game 17-6.

A big thanks goes to the referees and organisers of the tournament for making it so successful, and for the teams who travelled from all over Europe to take part.