Frisbee dating cover
Fashion & Trends

‘Speed’ Dating on the Frisbee Field

Fed up with traditional matchmaking, young Chinese turn to Ultimate Frisbee, roleplaying games, and other social events to find love

“Men must have over 50 million yuan in assets , and women must be young, beautiful, and highly educated,” goes a curious recruitment ad for a pick-up game of Ultimate Frisbee scheduled on July 3 in Beijing this year. Posted by a “high-end” dating organization on Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok), the ad states that men’s assets will be verified and they will need to pay 6,000 yuan to join, while the women can join for free but will be required to go through an interview.

This viral ad quickly fueled controversy about the booming sport: Besides football players complaining that Ultimate Frisbee is taking up the pitches they used to play on, many netizens have dubbed female Frisbee players feipan yuan (飞盘媛, “Frisbee beauties”)—who are supposedly more interested in being seen in their makeup and tight sportswear than the game itself.

Despite the controversies, arguably, Frisbee has surged to become one of the most popular social trends among young Chinese, especially the generation born between 1995 and 2009, over the last several years, attracting everyone from sports fans to singles in search of a partner. While young people today are increasingly comfortable with broadening their social circle and making new friends before rushing into marriage, they are also showing a preference for offline, outdoor activities over online, indoor alternatives.

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author Tan Yunfei (谭云飞)

Tan Yunfei is the editorial director of The World of Chinese. She reports on Chinese language, food, traditions, and society. Having grown up in a rural community and mainly lived in the cities since college, she tries to explore and better understand China's evolving rural and urban life with all readers.

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