What we’re up to next weekend:

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably done a few google searches with the word “kubb” in the past. I’m not exactly sure when I became aware that there was a group of Kubb players here in the Twin Cities who were throwing their own tournaments and playing by different rules than what I was used to, but I found their website a couple years ago:


I’d heard that some of the Kubb players I knew had come across and spoken a little with people from this group, but I’m fairly certain I had not contacted them before a few weeks ago.

As I was talking about how our Winter Tournament had gone with some friends, they said they’d been beaten by “Midwest Kubb Killers” and I made the connection to Midwest Kubb Association. This brought me back to their site to realize that MKA was throwing a tournament on Lake Harriet (just south of Lake Calhoun where we held our tourney) next weekend. I decided I’d just try and contact them through a contact form on the site and see if they’d let me and a few friends play.

John Sather at MKA responded via email and said we were welcome to play, provided us with a brief explanation of their rules, and asked for the names for his list.

So we’re in, and excited to play a different version of Kubb with a fresh new group of people.

Before I get in to more details I want to explain that the way these guys play Kubb is actually very similar to the way that many of my friends and I learned to play when we first heard about Kubb. We must have played this way for an entire summer and it became our favorite backyard game. Over the winter or in that next spring we decided that we wanted to go play at the biggest tournament in the country and they had different rules based on what the international tournament was doing. We switched and prefer the US National Championship rules, but still occasionally played like this for a change of pace or nostalgic reasons.

Alright, this is what I understand to be the the differences in the way the Midwest Kubb Associations plays:

UPDATE: Some of these assumptions turned out to be wrong. Check the Planet Kubb Wiki page for the real info.

  • They are eliminating downed field kubbs from the game after they’ve been inkast and knocked over once.
  • They seem to be willing to stack a kubb on top of any other kubb (baseline, or field kubb) that it touches when inkast, but may have a limit of 3 to a stack.
  • I assume “field advantage” exists because it happens so rarely with kubbs getting eliminated.
  • In the video I’ve seen on their site, I’ve only seen them place penalty kubbs behind kings, although that may be optional.
  • When all your opponents kubbs are down, you only get one shot per turn at the king, but you don’t need “one in the clip” to take the shot.
  • Their pitches are all sprayed or chalked in so its clear when kubbs are on or out. If they are touching the middle or baseline they are out, but the sideline is all in.

I think that covers rules,  but the tournament is run differently than any tournament I’ve played in as well:

  • Each player pays a fee to get in.
  • Players are paired randomly (which should help us get to know these guys).
  • The championship match is best two out of three, but everyone else plays single games.
  • There are some scoring and tiebreaking rules that seem different, but I’m not even sure they get used regularly and won’t go in to detail.

So this is what we’re in for next weekend. It’s sure to be fun and I’d guess it will have more of a poker tournament feel than we’re used to.

We practiced this way yesterday and we’re sure these rules speed things up considerably. Eight meter shots are the most important in every version of kubb you’ll play, but more so with this ruleset than the way we usually use. I’m looking forward to a much shorter, compact tournament that’s a little over a mile from my house, starts close to noon and has me home in time for dinner.

If anyone wants to come check it out, let me know and I can try and get you more details.