Jokgu 족구

Back at Angye high school, I walked into the gymnasium to see a tennis/volleyball net stretched across the basketball court.  I looked at the kids expecting to see them playing volleyball, but it looked more like they were practicing their ball juggling for soccer.   Weird.  Come to find out, it’s a game called Jokgu and it’s very similar to volleyball–except that it’s no hands.

Angye High School gym; preparing to start the game

Fast-forward to this summer.  My friend and I are at the mountain with two of his friends.  We leave the stream with a ball that I assumed to be a soccer ball.  Instead of going to a soccer field, we stop at the tennis courts. He turns to me, “So you know how to play?”  “Um…no?  I know you kick the ball…”  haha.  He tried to fill me in on a few more details and then the game started.

Although I’ve played soccer before, I readily admit that my ball juggling SUCKS.  We were paired together against his two friends.  Luckily, I didn’t completely embarrass myself; one of his friends was worse than me.  O.o That said, the game was pathetic and we were only loosely following the rules.  I have no idea who was leading when we stopped playing, but it didn’t take too long for me and the other guy to get tired of sucking.   So we sat out to watch the other two play.

My friend had bragged to me previously that when he did his military service, he had been part of the jokgu team.  His friend has amazing soccer/ball-handling skills that I’ve seen previously.  Before they began the match, they wanted to know who we thought would win.  Both me and the guy sitting out bet on my friend’s friend.  (We were right.)  My friend is an offensive player and his friend is a defensive player…they’d be a great team…but my friend got his ass handed to him during their match.  LOL.

Offensive kick (pulled from the internet)

General Rules of Play:

Jokgu is an Asian sport that blends soccer and volleyball.  The simplistic rules are: you can only touch with ball above your neck or below the knee and the ball cannot bounce more than two times in a row on one side of the court.   Similar to volleyball, a person cannot touch the ball two times in a row. If it’s one-on-one then a player can touch the ball twice to send it back (example of acceptable play with most points of contact: ground, head, ground, foot to kick it to the other side).  If they don’t make it to the other side (or it bounces out of bounds) before one of those things occur, then the other side gets the point.

Jokgu: Enjoyed by Koreans of all ages


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6 comments

  1. sounds like a great sport to play in the spring. i’ll look for people playing it in koreatown

    1. It’s also popular in China. I believe it’s a sport played in the Asian Games.

  2. Jokgu sounds like fun. I should try it sometimes next time I hit the beach with friends :-).

    Btw, I stumbled upon your blog via 20sb.

    1. Cool! Thanks for reading. It is a lot of fun (as long as you have good-natured/non-competitive people to play with).

  3. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is great, as well as the content!

    1. I only started blogging last year. This is my first blog! Thanks for taking the time for reading my blog and commenting. 🙂

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