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.
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.