“The ultimate goal is to make foot volleyball an official Olympic sport.”
Jokgu is a sport that anyone can easily enjoy with just one ball at picnics or various gatherings. There are people who are running to make this familiar jokgu into an official Olympic event. Kiyong Hong is the president of the Korea Jokgu Association (52).
Chairman Hong plans to hold the first jokgu world championship, the ‘Jokgu World Championship (tentative name)’, in August this year. Prior to this, he is also preparing to create a world federation of jokgu. Chairman Hong said, “21 countries, mainly European countries such as France, Czech Republic, Romania and Italy, expressed their intention to participate in the competition.” According to Chairman Hong’s plan, this year will be the first year of the Jokgu World Championship.
Currently, it is estimated that there are about 400,000 official jokgu club members in Korea. There are jokgu associations in 225 cities, counties, and districts out of 228 cities, counties, and districts across the country, including 17 cities and provinces. Last year, 770 foot volleyball competitions were held, including 20 national competitions. Based on this base, jokgu became a demonstration event at the National Sports Festival last year. The association hopes that jokgu will be able to participate as an official event from next time after participating in the National Sports Festival as a demonstration event once more this year.
When it becomes an official event of the National Sports Festival, college teams or business teams can be established to participate. As it is a necessary procedure for the stable development of jokgu, the adoption of jokgu as an official event in the National Sports Festival is a short-term priority. In addition, to make the foot volleyball tournament more exciting, we plan to create 7 divisions in Korea and implement a promotion and relegation system. Various technologies are also being researched to flexibly refine various rules and increase the attractiveness of sports in preparation for TV broadcasting.
Jokgu was conceived in 1966 as an exercise that domestic air force pilots could easily enjoy while doing emergency work. In 1968, Air Force officers made related rules, and after receiving a commendation from the Minister of National Defense after awarding them to the Ministry of National Defense, it is a domestic sport with a clear record that it began to spread to domestic units.
Overseas, there is a footnet as an event similar to jokgu. It is popular in Europe, mainly in the Czech Republic. Like foot volleyball, the ball is passed by mainly using the foot. Domestic foot volleyball rules require only the use of the lower part of the knee and the head, but footnet can use the whole body except the hands. Foot volleyball does not allow overnets, but footnets do. In addition, domestic foot volleyball is based on 2 bounds and 3 touches, but footnet is based on 1 bound and 3 touches. 메이저놀이터
The reason Chairman Hong is confident in the globalization of jokgu is that he believes that there is ample room for mutual exchange as there are many things in common between jokgu and footnet, and that it can further spread jokgu in connection with footnet. Korean jokgu players are also showing their competitiveness by participating in overseas footnet competitions. It is explained that the flashy foot volleyball technique, such as the ‘tumble kick’, in which the upper body is lowered as if one hand is on the floor and the foot is lifted up to the top of the head and kicked down like a windmill, is attracting foreign audiences. Chairman Hong, who discovered the possibility of linking with Footnet, said, “I thought my dream of entering the Olympics had come forward 50 years earlier.” Through this process, Chairman Hong believes that it is not just a dream for jokgu to become an Olympic event if the Korean government and the sports community are able to secure global competitiveness.
Chairman Hong, who is running an automobile parts business, moved to the United States in the late 1990s. He said that when he had free time in the local area, he enjoyed playing jokgu and came up with the idea, “Why can’t such an interesting event become an Asian game or an Olympic event?” He said, “In foreign countries, just hearing the national anthem brings tears to my eyes, so I came up with the idea to further develop the Korean sport of jokgu while working abroad.”
After serving as president of the American Jokgu Association, he returned to Korea and ran for and was elected president of the Korea Jokgu Association in 2021. He said, “If jokgu becomes global, following taekwondo, the power of K-culture, which is Korean, will be demonstrated to the world. We can create a large industrial market by exporting related products such as foot shoes.” Chairman Hong said that while staying abroad, he rather began to pay attention to the possibility of globalization of Korea. He is preparing to leap into the world of jokgu with him.