After 10 months in Korea, I’ve had too many awesome (and bizarre) experiences to count. I’ve seen historic palaces, hiked through amazing scenery, and tried spicy-ass foods (even octopus). But one of the best things yet is my journey into the sport of Ultimate Frisbee.
In March I joined the Republic of Korea Ultimate league or ROK-U. The league has 15 teams from across Korea. Teams play 14 games over the course of two months.
Joining the league would never have crossed my mind if it weren’t for my friend, Deni. Deni is always on top of the latest happenings here in Korea. I get the feeling she was the same way back home! (Side note: Deni and I met on Day 1 of this Korean journey and I couldn’t be more thankful to have snagged such a good friend.) Anyway, she, being the go-get’em gal that she is, proposed joining the league to pull us out of the winter doldrums.
And I thought Minnesota winters were depressing… Jeesh. Korean winters are just grey on grey on grey. After feeling a bit down in the dumps, we agreed that this was a great idea.
ROK-U teams are selected through a draft. You fill out a little survey thingie and the frisbee gods gauge a new player’s skill level/commitment from there. The cool thing is that the league is played on a very inclusionary level. It’s meant to let beginners try out the sport while more advanced players can improve through practice and teaching the nubes (like me).
Despite the league’s STRICT NO-REQUEST POLICY (haha), Deni and I cajoled them into letting us be on the same Daejeon team… PANDEMIC-HUH!
Little did I know this team would be full of so many new fraaands.
Now, when it comes to sports, I’ve got all the makings of a superstar. Tall. Athletic. Aggressive (sometimes borderline scary). But all my life, I’ve just been exceptionally average on the playing field. Or court. Or whatever.
Not bad, but not amazing.
Which is why I LOVE playing team sports. Every once in awhile I pull off something sweet. But 99 percent of the time, I can just let my superstar teammates do the winning stuff and still make me look awesome. 🙂
This team was no exception. I got a chance to play with some amazingly talented, fun and goofy people. And I didn’t even KNOW you could be talented with a frisbee.
Over the course of the season, I got to know my team and so many other good people throughout the league. I also got to see a handful of cities I may not have otherwise visited. We played in Gwangju, Ulsan, Pohang and Busan. How cool is that?
We wrapped up our season 7-7. Not bad for a team with a lot of new players. But our team leaders were patient and generous about helping rookies, which made a big difference. For me, it allowed me really fall in love with the sport. I can’t wait to go home and find a team to join… where ever that may be.
If you’re new to Korea and looking to meet great people–may I recommend this? If you’re old to Korea and looking for a fun team sport–may I also recommend this?
But you can’t have Pandemic… they’re mine! All mine!
You can have them. You should have them. They are too good to be kept secret. I love you, guys!
For more information on the ROK-U league, click here.