The 2011 Minnesota Kubb Winter Tournament played out over 8 hours on as many pitches in South Minneapolis this past Saturday. The 16 teams arriving from as far away as Milwaukee represented a wide cross-section of kubb players throughout the upper-midwest. Friends, couples and long-distance kubb associates came together to raise money for Farmers to Farmers as new and ongoing rivalries were created and renewed. The Round Robin Stage proved challenging for the competitors due to restrictions on match times as well as the natural restrictions of playing on 8-10″ of packed snow. Teams quickly adjusted to the conditions and several early match-ups proved evenly matched including a marathon opening game between eventual Consolation Champion Lakerol Originals and the hard-fighting team Amateur Hour.
The Knockout Phase kicked off as the clouds opened up to a beautiful bright blue Minneapolis February day. Completing the Round Robin having not lost a game on their way to a perfect 3-0 in matches, Sweden’s Sons went to a decisive third game against Mark it Zero in their opening Knockout match before defeating them and playing their way to the finals. Veterans Kubb’n Missile Crisis also went 3-0 in the Round Robin before being narrowly defeated by Team McKie in a semi final match-up that proved perhaps the best of the day. In the end it was many of the experienced teams advancing to the final four with the exception of newcomers Kubbosaurus Rex from Minneapolis who went 2-1 in the very difficult Group A.
As the sun set and temperatures dropped, 14 teams bowed out and the stage was set for a final match between Sweden’s Sons and Team McKie. A cold but dedicated crowd gathered around pitch 6 as game one unfolded into a battle of field kubbs. Seven field kubbs were in play when Aaron McKie displayed some of the most impressive shots of the tournament including a turn in which six field kubbs went down on a single shot. However, Sweden’s Sons played their consistent style, not allowing Team McKie opportunities to get ahead. Thanks to several three-for-three turns by Sweden’s Sons late in the match, Sweden’s Sons went on to a 2-0 victory and a 2011 Twin Cities Winter Kubb Championship victory that capped off an amazing day.
Sweden’s Son (Eric Anderson & Paul Mullen – Eau Claire, WI)
Team McKie (Aaron & Kim McKie – Rosemount, MN)
The Kubb’n Missile Crisis (Nate Olson & Joe Pendleton)
Kubbosaraus Rex (Roxie Speth, Tom Lubonovic, Laura Hovi)