The Korea Touch Association kicks off its 2013 season Saturday with an open day in Seoul.
The event is for both old hands and first timers, with coaching clinics and introductions to the rules, and a chance to develop the skills and get feedback for those who have never played before.
There will also be a match for experienced players, along with raffles and refreshments.
|Players compete at the most recent Korea Touch Association tournament in October 2012. (KTA)|
The sport originated as a low-contact training exercise for the rugby league. It follows similar rules to the league, but with touch-based tackling rather than the bone-crunching challenges of the parent sport, allowing men and women to play together.
The KTA will also start weekly social games of touch every Saturday, and offers a chance for interested players to turn up and join in. Participation costs 1,000 won. The KTA plans to have five annual tournaments this year, with the first on April 20 in Seoul.
The tournaments involve teams mostly from Seoul and the surrounding area, and this year’s highlights will be a tournament in Gwangju in August and the International Touch Seoul tournament later in the year. Previous ITS tournaments have invited teams from Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong to compete. Dan Leathem of the KTA said they were already expecting a team from New Zealand this year.
Leathem added that the KTA was hoping to challenge for a touch rugby world record this year.
"The current record is 28 players, 12 on the field at any time, playing for 30 hours, but a team in Australia is attempting to break this in April," he explained.
"We are waiting to see how they progress and on a field confirmation, but we are looking at either June or September (for the attempt)."
The open day will be held at the Jamwon pitch in Apgujeong, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and followed with a party at Itaewon’s Sin Bin Sports Bar, the KTA’s main sponsor, from 4 p.m.
For more information on how to get involved, check the Korea Touch Association Facebook page.
By Paul Kerry (email@example.com