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Re-introducing Ringball

Mon, 22 September 2014 16:07
by Michael Uugwanga


The previously neglected sport of Ringball will soon get a new lease of life following three years of near inactivity.
Ringball is a traditional South African sport, having been introduced in that country in 1907, although its popularity in that country only gained momentum in the 80s.
The sport was then introduced to Windhoek, Gobabis and Keetmanshoop in Namibia – albeit facing an uncertain future upon its introduction due to the lacklustre way in which its proponents operated.  
President of the Ringball Federation of Namibia, Christi Mutota says the sport went into hibernation between 2011 and 2013 after the people who had introduced it in Namibia dropped it.
“We are in the process of making the sport big because those who ran the sport in the past never took the sport seriously and that delayed its registration with the NSC. We are trying very hard to creating awareness of the sport,” said Mutota maintaining the sport was only registered last year. To this end the RFN is seeking to mainstream the sport in all 14 regions. Also, efforts are underway to introduce the sport at schools countrywide.
At present there are two ringball clubs in Gobabis, one in Keetmanshoop and fo
ur in Windhoek. Mutota revealed that the RFN is currently awaiting its first grant from the NSC.
What is Ringball?
Ringball is played on a court that is divided into three different sections with each section having three goal scorers, three centre players and three defenders.
The game is very simple, and it is a non-contact sport. Once the players are on the court, you throw the ball from player to player until you can successfully score and you can score by throwing the ball into the goal.
The sport is popular among the Afrikaans speaking community in South Africa and was introduced to Namibia through that channel.  Mainly played in South Africa and now Namibia, the sport is rather unusual or rather unfamiliar to many countries beyond the African borders. Its original name was Korfball, which is an Afrikaans word for ringball.
The governing body of the sport is the International Ringball Federation (IRF) previously known as Transvaal Korfball Board (TKB) and its headquarters is in South Africa, with Namibia being an affiliated member of IRF, which is headed by John Oosthuizen as president.
Meanwhile, South Africa is set to host the ringball championship is December this year and Namibia is one of the few countries invited to take part at the event that is also set to include other African countries like Mauritius and Ghana plus India.
RFN hosted a BI-nation Ringball Championship between Namibia and South Africa at the Windhoek Multipurpose Youth Complex Netball Courts last year December. South Africa won that tournament.
Since the sport of ringball is not an Olympic sport, South Africa has its own Olympic games, and ringball is an official sport in these games and it has become a very big for families in South Africa.
“We are going to take part in the ringball championships in South Africa in December this year. Only six countries will take part in the championships. Ghana and Mauritius are one of the countries who are invited. We are going there to compete and not just to make up members because the last time we did pretty well against South Africa in Namibia winning two out of four games,” said Mutota.