Beijing Ultimate Summer League
By Alicia Lui
The eighth annual Beijing Ultimate (Frisbee) Summer League begins next week! For eight weeks (plus potentially a bonus ninth), games will be played Saturday mornings at Beijing Normal University. Here’s what you need to know about participating.
First things first: what is Ultimate Frisbee?
Ultimate is a 7-on-7 sport that’s growing globally, with two professional leagues in the US and coverage by ESPN. In China, most games are co-ed, as they will be at Beijing Ultimate Summer League. It’s a fun and competitive field sport that incorporates elements of basketball, soccer and football, so expect to do a bit of running.
What can people expect from summer league?
For the past several years we’ve had four teams with about 13 to 15 core players, plus a few pickups every week. The Ultimate scene in Beijing actually includes five teams that practice and compete at various tournaments around the country. We also hold weekly pickup sessions on Wednesday evenings. Summer league is the time when all the different players in Beijing – their skill levels varying widely – come together and have fun.
Beijing Normal University has grass fields, by the way, so players are recommended to wear cleats.
I don’t really know much about the sport. Can I still try?
Summer league has always been a great way for this city’s Ultimate Frisbee organizers to reach out to the community and introduce the game to newcomers, so there’s an emphasis on education and developing fundamentals such as throwing and catching, as well as introducing basic offensive plays and defensive sets. We’ve had some people join us in the past who’ve never played competitively before but, as we discover, are actually amazing players. So we encourage anyone to come out and try; you just might discover a new passion and hobby!
Do Ultimate Frisbee players like to party?
We usually hold a huge party at the end of the summer league, so there’s that to look forward to.
So anyone can sign up?
Yes! Sign up here (may need VPN), or here (don’t need VPN), or email the organizers (see below). If you’re new to the game, this is a perfect time to be introduced. If you’re experienced, this is the perfect time to show off your skills. It’s perfect, basically.
I’m hesitant. Tell me more about this pickup thing. Can I go try?
Absolutely. Every Wednesday night from 8 to 10 pm, we play under the lights on turf fields at Deshengmen. Check out www.beijingultimate.com for further details, or subscribe to our mailing list via Beijing Ultimate Google Groups.
The 8th annual Beijing Ultimate Summer League will be played every Saturday from June 28 to August 16 at Beijing Normal University soccer fields, 11 AM - 1 PM. The price is 275 yuan for full season, 150 for half. Sign up here. Contact Hannah Lincoln firstname.lastname@example.org or Aaron Leung email@example.com for more info.
Alicia is founder of Prep! Beijing and co-captain of the Beijing Ultimate club team Big Brother.