The Ultimate community in Korea is a burgeoning, dynamic group of people. Twice a year, hundreds of expats and Koreans come together to socialize and compete in the Republic of Korea Ultimate league, or ROKU. The league has been flourishing since its inception in 2009. It’s now the biggest expat sports league in Korea, with participants from all over the world. More than 250 people, in 12 different cities, are indulging in the best of what Korea has to offer.
If you’re unfamiliar with ultimate, it’s a sport that promotes sportsmanship, fitness and social interaction. The only requirements are a good attitude and some running shoes. ROKU focuses on community and provides people with an opportunity to explore the culture in Korea, all while developing your ultimate IQ. It’s a sport that travels well and is very popular amongst transients around the world.
Often explained as a hybrid of soccer, basketball and football, the basics of ultimate will seem familiar and are easy to understand. The field is about the same size as an American football field with end zones at either end. Seven players per team (women and men, as the league and pick-up are coed) line up on opposite sides, with one starting on offense and the other on defense. The offense tries to retain possession of the disc while passing it from player to player, moving down the field. One team scores a point by catching the disc in the end zone they’re attacking. Experienced players and new players share the field with ease, allowing people to simply learn the sport in real time or to push themselves into new realms of ability.
The Korean ultimate community is an eclectic group of people, across many age groups and cultural backgrounds. We’re like a family of orphans that live and play together all over the peninsula. After the game, members are involved in various events and initiatives. Playing ultimate is an excellent way to enhance your overall experience in Korea and to learn more about a sport that you can enjoy for the rest of your life.
The ROKU fall league starts on September 8 and finishes on November 10, and registration is currently open to anyone interested in coming out. The fees are very reasonable and the league is very well organized. We play all of our games on weekends, usually on Sundays, and sometimes go out of town.
For more information, join the Busan Ultimate Facebook group, peruse the ROKU website, or email me directly: email@example.com
If you are In Busan, we play pickup at Namcheon elementary school on Sundays at 6 p.m. and can often be found throwing a disc on one of the beaches. Come join us!
You can get more info on the Republic of Korea Ultimate league and all the cities with teams at their website.
Group shot by Katie Geiman