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ROK Ultimate set to kick off spring season

Whether you’re a dedicated disc chaser or just want to try a new sport, the Republic of Korea Ultimate is seeking your involvement as it recruits players for its spring season.

The season includes 15 regular matches of Ultimate, the team sport played with a flying disc, followed by a playoff round scheduled for June. 

Dante Greeff of the HongSeong Ajumafia makes a catch as his team celebrates against Gyeongnam Feel in ROK-U’s fall season last year. (Ron Genech)
Dante Greeff of the HongSeong Ajumafia makes a catch as his team celebrates against Gyeongnam Feel in ROK-U’s fall season last year. (Ron Genech)

ROK-U organizers Tom Capranica and Georgina Polydore said the season highlights were doubles weekends ― events where the whole league gathers for matches running from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon.

“Seeing everyone ― 250 players last season ― in one place is what makes the league special,” they said.

“Walking up and down sidelines meeting friends from other cities to champagne and campaign is just as much a part of the weekend as the actual games.”

The league started in 2009 with five teams in Daegu and has grown gradually to cover the whole of the country, running two seasons a year.

Membership peaked at above 300 members, but the organizers said last year’s fall season was one of transition as some members dropped out to compete in official events.

“Every season we deal with turnover from people leaving Korea, but last season saw several of Korea’s top Frisbee players exit ROK-U to focus more on club Frisbee,” the organizers said.

“Whereas ROK-U is a recreational league open to total beginners, club Frisbee offers higher competition and requires higher commitment. These teams compete in national and international tournaments all around Southeast Asia.

“Those players represented several team captains, and also put in a lot of work toward player recruitment. Whilst losing them hurt, some of the players will be returning this season,” they said, adding that others would be competing to represent Korea in regional tournaments and at the World Flying Disc Federation‘s World Ultimate Championships this summer.

“We have a goal of getting the number of players back up over 300 for the fall season.”

Teams are newly arranged each season according to where players are based, but there is also a focus on ability and experience to ensure the league is as balanced and competitive as possible.

That also allows people that are new to the sport to join in, something Capranica and Polydore are naturally keen on.

“At the heart of ROK-U is our goal to spread the game of ultimate within Korea. We take pride in introducing the sport to new players from Korea and all over the world, in the country we love to live in,” they said.

“If you’re curious about trying ultimate for the first time, our description of the perfect rookie is as follows: shows up, is friendly, has fun.”

Teams are newly formed each season according to location, with a concurrent focus on ability to try to ensure balanced competition. League fees are 75,000 won, including a team jersey and registration closes Jan. 31.

For more information, visit rokultimate.com.

By Paul Kerry (paulkerry@heraldcorp.com)
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