Today, the International Korfball Federation has been informed of the passing of Ralph Davis, holder of the IKF Badge of Honour, at the age of 96, amid his next of kin. Ralph Davis was one of the pioneers of korfball in the United States in the late 1970s. Many consider him one of the two founding fathers of US Korfball, together with Jan Broekhoff.
Davis was a coach of the Portland State University Korfball Team and served as President of the US Korfball Federation. Apart from korfball, he was very active in sports throughout his entire life. He was a Seaside and Gearhart ocean-front lifeguard, credited with 250 life-saving rescues, physical education instructor at Portland State University, and a coach in football, track and cross country athletics. Further, he was founder and director of the Seaside Marathon and its summer Beach Run. The latter he created in 1966 together with his late wife Betty, who also was a former life guard. She supported him over many years in korfball activities. He was active in the gym until very recently continuing to practice sports.
His true dream, however, was a further growth of korfball in the US, which may happen now that The World Games have been awarded to Birmingham (AL, USA) in 2021. At those games, we will surely remember Ralph Davis’s most famous quote, with which he signed off all his letters: “If it isn’t korfball, it isn’t”.
The global korfball community have lost a pioneer in korfball and a friend of many. We send our condolences to Vaunda, Bryan, Scott and their families.