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2014 Loppet Teams

Kubb Logo 2012-05

The Loppet Kubb Tournament is just one week away. We’re happy to announce that the 2014 Loppet Tournament is bigger than ever. Over 200 participants will gather February 1st representing 64 teams from 5 states for the largest winter kubb tournament in the world.

Here are the 64 Teams and the city they represent

Minnesota Kubb will release the tournament groups live Sunday, January 26th at 8pm on Fox Valley Kubb Radio. Tune in to find out who you’ll play!

2013 Minnesota Kubb Open Marquette Plaza Recap

Marquette-Plaza-Building-Green-RoofSaturday turned out to be an absolutely perfect day for kubb in downtown Minneapolis at the picturesque Marquette Plaza. Teams of all skill levels gathered to celebrate kubb on the Nicollet Mall. The day kicked off with group play starting at 10am and a very tough early match between Goofy Kubbers and Regicide. In what became a preview of the finals match, Goofy Kubbers took the match 2-0 thanks to the very good drilling from Evan Fitzgerald. Newcomers and fan favorite Klassy Kubbers learned the game on the fly having played only once before. They proved beyond a doubt how fun it can be just learning the game of kubb. In the other group, Team Meh cruised through group play with Micah and Lee playing lights out kubb. Garrick Van Buren (normally of Kubbchucks) playing as The American Facial Hair Experiment found his team, once again, in a few hourlong grinder matches but managed second in the group behind Team Meh.

Teams fanned out through downtown for lunch as the Pizza Luce Block Party kicked off nearby and the sun crawled it’s way up the tiered pitches. A few big names in the kubb world were seen playing a friendly or two before teams gathered to start knockout play. The #1 vs #4 games went as expected but not as quickly as one might have thought. The Klassy Kubbers didn’t look intimidated against Team Meh and The Queens of kubb held their own against The Goofy Kubbers before both #1 seeds advanced. The #2 vs #3 games were very well played and pretty evenly matched. TAFHE again found themselves grinding out a long and well earned victory over Kubbic Zerconia (known to most as the Lakerol Originals). In the other #2 vs #3 match Regicide outlasted The Kubbler Elves, a very good team that has improved a lot and will be a team to beat at future tournaments.

While teams battled it out on the pitch, Minnesota Kubb designer and artist Sarah Wray created the trophies live on site. At Minnesota Kubb we pride ourself on unique trophies highlighting the talent of local artists and this was no exception. With a variety of supplies and tools at her disposal – players, volunteers, and spectators watched as Sarah created the unique trophies throughout the day. Sarah chose a theme reflecting the urban nature of the tournament – using street art influence to stencil and paint the trophies.

The semifinals kicked off with a match between Regicide and Team Meh that could have been the finals had the bracket played out differently. Both teams were highly skilled and the match reflected that all the way through. Regicide were able to eventually break through winning 2-0. In the other semifinal, Goofy Kubbers outlasted TAFHE and the finals were set.

Goofy Kubbers and Regicide moved up to the waiting Championship Pitch on the top tier of the Marquette Plaza and the finals were underway. The match showcased Evan Fitzgerald, one of the best inkastres in the nation against Dave Ellringer and Cole Vryens, two of the better blasters around. Evan and Braden played great kubb several times hitting clutch doubles with their 6th baton. On the other side the story was Josh Dibley who set up Dave and Cole extremely well all match long. Drilling for the first time in a final, Josh stayed cool under pressure and was the difference helping Regicide capture the first annual Minnesota Kubb Open in two games.

It was a great day to play on the Plaza and we’re looking forward to returning to the space for future events.

Jake is not registered for Nationals in Eau Claire

For the last 4 years I’ve played in the U. S. National Kubb Championship. For the first three years it was a minimum 2 player team tournament and I played with a different partner each year. Last year I played with two friends as Börk! Börk! Börk!. We had a pretty good time and played some competitive Kubb.

I think my teammates from last year and I made a good enough team that we would have done it again this year, but one of them is in South America for the summer.

I knew he wouldn’t be able to play and that we needed a third, but I had thought it would work itself out somehow. I could try and blame a cold wet spring, or some other external factor, but tomorrow is the deadline for registrations and Börk! Börk! Börk! does not have a third player and is not registered.

I guess this blog post is a last ditch effort to see if there is anyone else in a similar boat. My partner Josh and I don’t even care too much about playing on the same team, but we’ll almost definitely go to the tournament. Our friends John Kubbar Mellencamp will let us throw a few batons with them if we’d like, and Eric Anderson said it might not be a bad idea to show up looking for a team and see if somebody needs a last minute third. I’m pretty excited about the “5th Year” buttons they’re giving out and I’ll get one somehow.

So it all boils down to this:
Josh and I are not picky and if anyone wants to compete in the championship with us on July 13th in Eau Claire, we’d love a register a team. We’re not tied to a team name or anything. I’d also like to know if you’ve got a team that needs a third. Please send me an email or facebook message in the next 24 hours.

Thanks for reading,

Summer Kubb!

It seemed like it might not happen at all, but summer has found it’s way here to Minneapolis. And while it’s been a little Seattle-like we take summers seriously here in L’Etoile du nord. So we’re rolling out three great ways to play kubb in the sun!

We’re excited to again partner with the Loppet to bring you a fun afternoon of live music, food, (free) beer, and of course kubb! Never played in a summer tournament before? Never played kubb at all? Perfect! This relaxed environment is an ideal way to transition from backyard/BBQ player to tournament champ! As usual we’ll have practice pitches for open play and volunteers available to help those who need some help remembering how to play. Did we mention free beer? All participants (of age) receive a free Surly beer ticket – register a team of 6 players and this tournament pays for itself in delicious Surly!

Minnesota Kubb will be taking over the East Lawn of the American Swedish Institute for this one of a kind evening. Listen to live music, explore the grounds, eat food from FIKA, and play kubb! Indeed Brewing will be serving beer near the kubb pitches along with Pumphouse Ice Cream. Three pitches will be available: one for beginners to learn the basics, one for open play, and one “challenge” field for you to try your hand against a team of experts. More details can be found on the American Swedish Institute’s event page. No need to register, your ticket will get you access to all the kubb fun!

  • Minnesota Kubb Summer Open – August 10th

We’re very excited to introduce Minnesota Kubb’s first Summer Open Tournament. Mark you calendars now as we expect this event to fill up fast. This will be a small tournament held at the Marquette Plaza green space (formerly Cancer Survivors Park) near the Central Library on the Nicollet Mall. Details and registration information will be announced soon.

Our First Midwest Kubb Association Tournament

We arrived at about 11:30am last Saturday at Lake Harriet to find about 50 kubb players milling around 7 or 8 shoveled and painted kubb pitches out about 75 yards off the shoreline. Almost everybody had a beer in their hand and was chatting with their friends. They’d also constructed a snow man and started a small bonfire on the lake. Some nice touches we should consider for our next winter tournament.

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John Sather picked out who we were right away and pointed us towards his sister who’d come up from Chicago to be here and help run the tournament. We paid our fees and hung around for until about noon when things started. I should mention that I didn’t see anyone practicing even though most players were present at least a half hour before they started. This is your first indication that this group does things a little differently.

At this point I encourage you to read the info I put on in the Planet Kubb Wiki for more specifics about how Midwest Kubb Association tournament are run.

Around noon we all met at the snow man for a reading of the rules, which were incomplete, but I don’t blame them. No one ever has time to really go over rules before a kubb tournament. After that we all picked slips of paper with numbers out of a stocking cap. We reported our team number to the tournament coordinator and she told us the name of our partner and assigned us a pitch. I should have been more excited when she told me my partner was “Destiny”, but somehow I knew that I wouldn’t be playing with “The hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future”. Destiny was a skinny blonde girl in her early 20s who had played some kubb last summer, but never in the snow.

The 4 teams in our round robin shared a pitch. I believe all of the sets where Bex. I started out really strong in the first game. One of the guys on the opposing team threw his first baton completely side ways holding it in the middle. It was as “Helicopterish” as you could get and everyone who saw him do it corrected him right away, although I saw a lot of shots that seemed more that 45% off vertical and I didn’t see anyone else get called on it. Their rule is just that you need to throw from the end. We beat that first team, but lost to the second one quickly. Our third match got down to a missed king shot, but that team also really hard on us about the order in which we threw and penalized a few batons for it. In hindsight, I hope the guy on that team was just giving us a hard time because he thought it was the only way he’d beat us and it may have been… 🙂

So with a 1 and 2 showing in the round robin, Destiny and I didn’t even make it in to bracket play, but that was no reason to leave this tournament. I did run out to get some beer so I could fit in with the crowd a little more and returned to see that Eric’s Team and Lee’s Team had been making short work of their opponents. Anders and his teammate had more success than I did, but they were eliminated around the time I returned.

I should mention that even during round robin play, because teams were waiting to play on your pitch, several player would stick around to give you pointers or heckle whoever was throwing. I got a kick out of a recurring joke where they’d say say “Throw this one higher, now this one lower.”

As the Semi-Finals started everyone huddled around two pitches. The teams were becoming much more evenly matched and with single elimination play, these games were getting intense. I feel like there was a lot more cheering, but also spectators calling players who got a little to close to the line with their “Minneapolis Step”. There was just a lot of fun energy building.


Eric’s partner Pete was really good for a guy who’d never played in a tournament before had at least one friend who was coaching them through out the tournament and joined Anders and I cheering them in to the finals game. This different rule set also seemed to agree with Lee, who played some of his best Kubb. although anyone who’s seen him play knows he’s an underrated player. He also had the luck to be paired with a strong player named Jason Emery who’d been playing with the Midwest Kubb Association for years and read the rules at the beginning of the day.

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I believe Anders took the photo above after the initial toss to determine who’d go first in the first game of the final match and as you can see, these both got about as close as you can.

I don’t remember exactly how it went, but I think Lee and Jason just barely took the first game in the final match, potentially after a missed King shot. Eric and Pete fought back and won the second one. During the rubber match Jason’s friends were taunting him from the sideline saying there was no way he could win because he’d never done it before. I was standing near Lisa the tournament coordinator and commented on all the heckling and it’s tough to be playing in the finals with a bunch of close friends giving you a hard time. I actually think Eric and Lee had an mental  advantage because no one really knew them. Despite all this Jason was making most of his shots and Lee was in the zone.

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Beginning of the final turn of the last game.

I wish I had some video of the finish. I’m probably bias because I knew members of both teams pretty well, but it was as exciting as the end of any Kubb tournament I’ve ever been too.  I’m not sure if anyone was taping but there are some photos from last weekend up on the MKA Videos and Photos page.

On Monday I mailled John at MKA to thank him for letting us play and asked if it’d be alright if we tried to join them again sometime. He was glad we’d come and gave me info about how to keep in touch with them. I guess that Lee’s partner Jason is running a tournament in Minneapolis sometime this spring and I’d think he’ll be happy to take as many people as I can get together for that. I’ll keep everyone in the loop on Facebook.


This is everyone. Eric and Lee are kneeling in front. I’m off on the far right and Anders is in there somewhere.

2013 Groups

Group A (Pitch 1 & 2)
Kubb Snipers
Ice Ice Kubbs
New Kubbs with the Block
Ogre and Company
Group B (Pitch 3 & 4)
The Camp Hasslers
Settler of Baton
Base Neighbs and the Ponds
Group C (Pitch 5 & 6)
X Kubbed
Sporting Wood
Kubbilicious Maximus
Hangin’ with Mr. Kubber
Group D (Pitch 7 & 8)
The Ringers
Zhateau Berzerkerz
Team One Horn
Kubbin’ Missile Crisis
Group E (Pitch 9 & 10) 
John Kubbar Mellencamp
McDonald Driver Burgers
Group F (Pitch 11 & 12)
Team Sweden
Pitch Wizards
Kubb de Grace
Main Kubbtraction
Group G (Pitch 13 & 14)
The Relentless Kastpinnars
Pitch Slap
Illesota Poets
Midwest Kubb Killers
Group H (Pitch 15 & 16)
Rainy Day Kubb
Tape a Cheetah to Her back
Thief River Falls Kubb
Group I (Pitch 17 & 18)
Kingdom Kubbers
Knordic Knights
Kubbra Kai
Beer in Hand
Group J (Pitch 19 & 20)
Team Knockerheads


3 Kubbateers
Group K (Pitch 21 & 22)
Team Kubboom
Team Surly!
Group L (Pitch 23 & 24)
Kubby Doo
Kubbla Khan
Motley Krubb
Kubbic Pair
Group M (Pitch 25 & 26)
Lakerol Originals
Zorbaz Berzerkerz
Von Trapp Family Slingers
The Stanley Kubbrichs

Meet Your Volunteers


The 2013 Loppet Kubb Tournament is set to be a great one, thanks to these fantastic volunteers! We had a great meeting last night and I couldn’t be more excited to work with such skilled people. To my left they are: (L to R) Sarah Wray, Jake Freeberg, Josh Dibley, Rachel Goplin, Megan Gamble, Cole Vyrens, Shaun Laden.  Not pictured but just as awesome are: Raulie Ruiz, Becca Stohlmann, Mike Jackelen, Jill Johnson, Danielle Claseman, and David Davies-Deis.

See you on the ice,

Eric Goplin

Moving Right Along

As we move into December registration for the 2013 Loppet Kubb Tournament is in full swing. Many familiar faces return including all of the 2012 semifinalists, as well as veteran kubb teams like The Ringers, Lakerol Originals, and Kingpin. As a kubb enthusiast I love watching the sport of kubb grow. So while I love seeing the veteran teams slug it out in the later rounds, watching teams play in (and truly enjoy) their first tournament brings me a unique joy.

First Timers

I was truly blown away by how many people braved the elements to participate in the 2012 Loppet Kubb Tournament. Looking back almost a year later, I’m even more amazed at how many of those were first time participants. Why such a large percentage of first time participants? For starters, credit the Loppet. The City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation has undoubtedly captured the spirit of not just winter recreation, but the collective attitude Minnesotans know so well – the idea that we can’t let a bitter and prolonged freeze stop us from doing the things we love. The Loppet offers the chance to do just that. In this case, that thing we love? Kubb.


When early registration ended 3 days ago, the total number of teams signed up for the Loppet Tournament had already reached 25. The growth of our tournament reflects the broader growth seen around the Midwest and that of the U.S. Championships in Eau Claire. However, it doesn’t fail to continue to amaze me how far we’ve come. Three years ago we scraped, begged, and borrowed our way to an 8* team “tournament” in a Minneapolis backyard. Since then the Minnesota Kubb Winter tournament has doubled in size from 8 in 2010, to 16 in 2011, to 32 in 2012. The goal (while lofty) is to once more double in size this year to 64. Such a growth rate is not indefinitely sustainable, but it speaks to the potential of where kubb can go in Minnesota and the Midwest.

Here’s to a great 2013 Loppet Kubb Tournament,

Eric Goplin – Director

* Many of them less-than-willing participants convinced (bribed) to attend with the promise of hot toddies.

Invitation – Kubb Pro/Am

We’re pleased to invite all kubb players to Minnesota Kubb’s first Pro/Am Event, November 11th at Theodore Wirth Beach from 10am to 1pm. No need to RSVP, register, or be a Loppet Tournament participant – just show up anytime and play! Rumor has it there will be a few special guests as well!

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Come join us to play kubb as we gear up for the 2013 Loppet Kubb Tournament. We’re calling this a Pro/Am because the goal is to mix up players who are newer to kubb or looking to get better at kubb by pairing them up with someone who has been around the world of kubb for a few years or has experience in tournaments. Mixing up players is not required, if people prefer to play with their friends/teammates, no problem.

If you are a player looking to take your game to the next level, this is a unique chance to play alongside a more experienced player who can answer questions and help you think through strategy that will payoff come tournament time.

More information: Minnesota Kubb Pro/Am

Why not 3-Player Teams?

I truly believe the inevitable future of kubb in the United States is 6 player tournaments. It might take years, but if the story arc of U.S. kubb follows a similar path to it’s European counterpart, it stands to reason that 6 player tournaments will gain traction while 2 player tournaments will at some point seem entirely antiquated. If this is in fact true, and with the United States Championships already bending that arc by requiring 3 Player teams, several people have asked me why the 2013 Loppet Tournament continues to play as a 2 player event? The answer is a somewhat practical, but mostly tactical one.

Functionally, a 2 player tournament makes it easier for more teams to participate given the potential weather extremes in February. A person looking to play in the tournament need only convince one friend it’s not crazy to stand out in the freezing cold throwing wood instead of two. Also, teams signing up with three or more players are cushioned against any one player bailing out the day before the tournament after seeing a bad forecast. These are small factors though, more so the decision to continue with 2 player teams is about the future of kubb in Minnesota.

In carrying out our mission of supporting the growth of kubb in Minnesota, the immediate strategic imperative is to demonstrate a consistent yearly increase in team participation. This does several things to legitimize kubb as both a part of the Loppet Festival and a sport that’s not a fad – consequently making it easier to shop sponsorship, attract press, and market the sport. Entering only our second year of partnership with the Loppet, moving to 3 player teams and the subsequent drop in the number of teams hurts our long-term outlook. Why? Because while individuals participating in the tournament would likely increase even if we did switch to 3 player teams this year, the fact is success for this event is currently measured by team participation, regardless of the asterisk noting team size was increased. This strategy is not indefinite. The goal is that several years of solid growth entrenches kubb as on ongoing part of the Loppet, thus putting the tournament in a better position to absorb the move to 3 player teams and the potential drop in team registration. Year two of this Loppet experiment just isn’t the right time. Who knows, maybe kubb is so big in 2014 that we can switch to 3 player minimums and still increase the number of teams?

-Eric Goplin, Director