Photo by Justin Phillips @um3k on Instagram

What is the Friendly Neighbor Rule?

Many tournaments including the U.S. Kubb Open, U.S. Midwest Kubb Championship, and Great Lakes Championship have been using a new rule called the neighbor rule. Very simply the rule is that if during the kubb tossing phase, you end with a kubb entirely on top of other kubbs, you can place that kubb wherever you want on the opponent’s side of the pitch.

The neighbor rule as written in the Kubb United Rules for Open Play is as follows:

The “neighbor rule” (a.k.a Elevated Award): At the end of the kubb tossing phase, any kubbs that are elevated, not touching the ground, and have an in-bounds footprint as though the kubb were not elevated, become award kubbs.

Grass cannot support an elevated kubb. To determine if a kubb is elevated, imagine taking away the grass, and if the kubb would remain elevated, it is an elevated kubb.

Award kubbs are collected by the attacking team at the beginning of the kubb raising phase.

At the end of the kubb raising phase the attacking team places award kubbs upright and on the ground anywhere on their opponents half of the pitch in bounds provided they are at least one baton-length (30 cm) from the king or any field marking stakes (if field marking stakes are used).

Why was the rule created?

The neighbor rule has been attractive to tournaments for three reasons. Firstly, the ease of understanding the rule. Complicated explanations for how to raise elevated kubbs can confound even veteran players. This rule makes raising kubbs far easier for new players.

Photo by Justin Phillips @um3k on Instagram

Secondly, it rewards good inkasting. While an elevated kubb is usually a good thing without the neighbor rule, there are a couple instances where it can harm the inkaster. A good example of this is the following image where, with U.S. National rules, you must lift the elevated kubb first forcing the two underneath out of bounds even though they have an in bounds footprint. With the neighbor rule all three kubbs are in bounds.

Photo by Justin Phillips @um3k on Instagram

Lastly, the rule saves time. The most common time to see elevated kubbs is when a large number of kubbs are in play and trying to decide where one or two elevated kubb should go amongst a large group can delay the progress of the game.

What do you do with an award kubb?

So what is the best way to use an award kubb? The first inclination is usually to put the kubb directly in front of another kubb to make an easy double throw with a baton. You could also use the award kubb to tie together two spread out kubbs to turn two singles into a triple, as shown below.

Photo by Justin Phillips @um3k on Instagram

Another common way to use an award kubb is to place it directly in front of a baseline kubb. If you don’t need the kubb to chain together a group of kubbs, this is the best place to put it. You have to throw at the baseline kubb eventually, this allows you to turn it into a double. But don’t put them in front of more than one baseline kubb as that would defeat the purpose.

Photo by Justin Phillips @um3k on Instagram

Like the neighbor Rule? Do you have other uses for award kubbs that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.