JEJU WEEKLY

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Asia comes to Jeju for Ultimate Frisbee
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승인 2010.05.14  13:15:13
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▲ Teams from as far away as Gaum came to Kang Chang Hal stadium in Seogwipo to compete in the Jeju Gnarly Nines Ultimate Frisbee Tournament Photo courtesy KOREA ULTIMATE

“Layout!”

“Force flick!”

“Disc is up!”

If you were in the vicinity of Kang Chang Hal stadium in Seogwipo the first weekend of May, you would have heard these and other similarly baffling phrases screamed with gusto and intensity. This cacophony of encouragement and instruction accompanied the Jeju Gnarly Nines Ultimate Frisbee tournament, which took place on May 1 and 2.

Ultimate Frisbee is a noncontact sport with no referee, therefore one of the most important tenets is “the spirit of game,” meaning players call their own fouls. The object of the sport is to score points by passing the Frisbee from one end of the pitch to the other and catching it in an end zone (similar to American Football but less violent). The games are roughly an hour and are tiring, with players often avoiding such exertions as climbing stairs for at least a week after a tournament.

Apart from playing Frisbee, the weekend’s other main attraction and activity was drinking copious amounts of free beer.

Although no doubt detrimental to a team’s playing, it did add an extra dimension to the game, if only by adding to the difficulty of play.

Teams came from around the region, including from Taiwan, Guam, Shanghai, Tokyo, mainland Korea and five teams from Jeju. There was a massive disparity of talent among players ranging from rank beginners to those who could throw so accurately it appeared they were using some kind of Jedi mind trick. Team names span from the innocuous Seoul teams, labeled A through F, through the cute Guamibears and Guamibats, to the frankly bawdy, which aren’t suitable to print here.

With the tournament taking place over a Saturday and Sunday, the first day of play saw the teams divided into three brackets. How teams performed in their groups determined who would play in the knockout stages on Sunday. As already stated, the game is draining, so a free barbecue and beer at Gecko’s Bar and Restaurant in Jungmun on the Saturday evening was greatly appreciated by the players. The party included drinking games aplenty and most players were inebriated enough to be worse for wear on Sunday.

After all the games had been played, Justice League emerged as tournament champions. A Jeju team, Jeju Furey Juno, snatched the B division championship for the second year running.

The most valuable player awards went to Andrew Kim for the men and Lesley Sim for women, with the spirit award going to a Taiwan B division team. After the ceremony, players dispersed, contented and sore, to their homes in various parts of Asia, taking new friendships with them. In the words of one of the event organizers: “I feel like we are just brothers and sisters, it is real nice to meet nice friends all over the world.”





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