Social Skills: ​The Shenzhen Ultimate Frisbee Association

By Sky Gidge, November 28, 2016

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Social Skills is a monthly column featuring community groups where you can meet new people through exercise or other enjoyable activities.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a disc flying straight at your head! Welcome to the world of Ultimate Frisbee, or as the pros call it: Ultimate.

From a couple throwing a cake pan on the beach in 1938 to being featured on ESPN today, flying discs have spread across the world and spawned numerous sports, Ultimate being the most popular.

Its rise in Shenzhen has been equally breakneck. “Back then it was just a small little thing, just a few people meeting in the park near Ikea,” Jeff Bussel, president of the Shenzhen Ultimate Players Association, says about the casual 2008 meet ups. “Now we can sometimes get up to 80 people.”

The rules are a bit like basketball combined with American football. Two teams face off on a field that has end zones. If the flying disc makes it into the hand of someone in an opposing end zone, that’s a point.

“It’s a very addictive sport, because once you get into it and see a bit of improvement, you just want to keep getting better,” says Bussel.

There are three days that you can get your Frisbee fix in Shenzhen, with one of the days open to anyone who wants to play. Tuesdays are set aside for league play – the league this year will run six weeks and the players take it pretty seriously; Thursdays is a night for the ladies to practice their throws; and Sunday is pick-up day, where teams are formed from scratch and anyone can participate. Each day is held in a different location near central Shenzhen.

Never thrown a disc before? No problem. Bussel says he will teach you.

For information visit or add the official WeChat account: SZultimate.

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