The Netherlands: Sports & Leisure                            

Soccer is the most popular sport in the Netherlands followed by field hockey and volleyball. Tennis, gymnastics and golf are the three most widely played individual sports. A number of native Dutch sports are also practiced such as: fierljeppen, keatsen/kaatsen, klootschieten, kolven and korfball.


Fierljeppen involves a long pole and a body of water. The pole usually measures between 8 and 13 meters and has a flat round plate at the bottom to prevent it from sinking into the muddy river or canal bottom. "A jump" consists of a sprint to the pole (polsstok), jumping and grabbing it, then climbing to the top of the pole (while trying to control its forward and lateral movements over a body of water), and finishing by landing on a sand bed opposite to the starting point.

Keatsen/Kaatsen (Frisian: keatsen; Dutch: kaatsen)

Keatsen is a traditional Frisian sport, related to American handball that is most commonly practiced by people from the northern Dutch province of Friesland (Fryslân). It is believed to be one of the oldest ballgames. It was an unofficial demonstration sport at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. The scoring is similar to tennis. The first team to win six games wins the match.


Klootschieten means "ball shooting." Klootschieten is popular in the eastern regions of Twente and Achterhoek and is also played in East Frisia, Germany. The objective is to try to throw a ball (kloot) as far as you can.


Kolven is played by four people. Players hit a ball a certain distance. The first to reach their opponents' starting point wins. The game may last several days.


Korfball is a ball sport similar to netball and basketball. It is played by two teams of eight players with either eight females on each team or with four females and four males on each team. The objective is to throw a ball through a bottomless basket that is mounted on a 3.5 meter-high pole.