Ultimate Frisbee on Jeju
What: Ultimate Frisbee
Where: Jeju Island
How much: About 30,000 won; practice discs 20,000 won
Contact: Nick Cook, 010-2355-0871
“Many players will tell you that they love the sport, but even more, they love the community. Ultimate is known as a welcoming sport, full of players who are looking to compete, but also have a good time,” said Beth Houtrow, a 31-year-old Korea Ultimate Players Association organizer. “We are always looking for opportunities to spread our love of ultimate to new people, and we encourage new player development through pickup, league, and clinics.”
Jeju’s Korea Ultimate Players Association meets Sundays at Ichon River Park. League games are held in the spring and fall. During the regular season, clinics are held on Sundays at 11:30 a.m. to help new players learn the game.
Ultimate in Korea is about 60 percent expats and 40 percent locals.
Ultimate Frisbee (or just “ultimate”) was invented in the United States in the 1960s. It is a team sport played with a Frisbee and combines aspects of American football, soccer, and basketball. Two teams of seven square off on a field with two end-zones. The object is to catch the disc in your opponent’s end-zone for a score.
During play, the player with the disc cannot run, so in order to move the disc downfield, the player must pass it to open teammates. If a throw is dropped or knocked down by a defender, then possession changes and the other team can pick up the disc immediately and start moving it the other way.
Ultimate is the most popular sport among Jeju’s tightly-knit expat communities. Getting to know people you might not have had the chance to otherwise is cited by members as an important benefit to the group.
“This provides an excellent opportunity to not only meet new expat friends, but also make Korean friends. Expats and Koreans play ultimate together and travel to tournaments together. Being a part of KUPA gives you a huge community of friends,” said Houtrow.
“Join if you are looking for an opportunity to get plenty of exercise, meet lots of new people, and find fast friends. Ultimate Frisbee will provide you with an instant community in Korea, and almost anywhere else in the world you move. You're always welcome on an Ultimate field.”