Kubb: What Is It and How Can I Play?

by Sarah
Have you heard of Kubb? Also, did you know that Eau Claire, WI is one of the most popular places for Kubb, and is also known as the Kubb Capital of North America? I didn't either until I did a little more digging!
So what is Kubb? Kubb is a game that originated on the Gotland Island in Sweden. Today this is still the location of the annual Kubb World Championship!
Kubb is a yard game that is played by two opposing teams and has 23 pieces--10 kubbs, 1 king, 6 batons for throwing and 6 field marking pins. To begin, both teams throw a baton (must be thrown end over end) toward the king. Whichever team throws their baton closest to the king gets to go first. The first team throws their batons from their baseline at their opponent's baseline kubbs.
Kubbs that are successfully knocked down by the first time are then thrown by the second team onto the first team's half of the pitch (past the midline) and stood on end. These newly thrown midline kubbs are called field kubbs. If a field kubb is thrown out of play, then one more attempt is made.  If this goes out of bounds again, the kubb becomes a "punishment kubb" and can be placed anywhere in the target half by the opposing team. It must be at least one baton length from the King or a corner marker. 
The second team then throws the batons at the first team's kubbs, but must first knock down any standing field kubbs. Again, all kubbs that are knocked down are thrown back over onto the opposite half of the field and then stood back up. If either team doesn't knock down all field kubbs before their turn is over, the kubb closest to the centerline is now the opposite team's baseline. This means that throwers may step up to that line to throw at their opponent's kubbs. 
Play continues like this until a team is able to knock down all the kubbs on one side from both the field and the baseline. If that team still has batons left to throw, they then attempt to knock over the King to win the game. If the king is knocked down by a baton or kubb before all other kubbs are knocked over, the throwing team immediately loses the game.
So, did you get all that? If not, here is a video to explain Kubb even more!
If you are interested in learning more about Kubb or want to see it live in action, check out the US National Kubb Championship happening this weekend in Eau Claire! The tournament is July 12th-14th and is free to attend. You can see what Kubb is all about and learn a new way to incorporate some movement into your yard game days!
Be Well,

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