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Korfball European Championships

October 22, 2010

The European Championships that start today in the Netherlands are intriguing in some ways, and predictable in others. Let’s get the predictable out of the way first. The hosts will win the tournament, almost certainly beating Belgium in the final. The top two seeds in each of the four groups will probably finish in the top two places to proceed to the next group stage (Hungary beating the Germans to accompany the Dutch in qualifying is the most plausible upset).

What is harder to predict is the placings from 3-8, with not much to choose between Portugal, Czech Republic, Russia, England, Catalunya and Germany. Even more tricky to predict, and with rather more hanging on it will be the contest for 9th and 10th places, which will both ensure qualification for the World Championships. Hungary and Slovakia are probably the favourites followed by Poland, but with Serbia, Scotland, Ireland and Wales all competing in their first Championships, it will be interesting to see if they can upset the more established Eastern European sides. Turkey seem the longest shot.

The other interesting developments are the introduction of the shot clock and a, significantly different, new ball. Both should serve to speed the game up, and avoid some of the slower build up play that were used by (amongst others) Hungary and England in the 2007 World Championships. The general feeling is that it will increase the gap between the best teams and the rest by giving a further edge to players with good shooting techniques. If anything, the changes in the ball should go the other way – it’s designed to be easier to handle and if it does feel different when shooting that should have a levelling effect.

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
Netherlands Belgium Czech Republic Russia
Germany Catalunia Portugal England
Hungary Poland Wales Slovakia
Serbia Scotland Turkey Ireland

 

Live scores can be followed at worldkorfball.org, Eurosport 2 will be showing action from the later stages, including live coverage of the semi-finals and final.

 

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