SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. — It’s been said that South Pasadena is the Midwest of Southern California. In fact, many TV shows and movies have filmed their Midwest scenes there. Perhaps that’s why kubb has started to flourish in the city, or perhaps it’s just the enthusiasm of the L.A. Kubb Club. This was ever apparent as they hosted their second annual West Coast Kubb Championships on Sunday, April 25.
It was a typical warm and sunny SoCal day at Orange Grove Park. The pitches were laid out in the outfield of a baseball field. The fairly dry grass made for extremely active bounces from the kubbs and batons, and most importantly every single player had a smile on their face. It was a good day for kubb.
The 22 teams competing were made up of mostly local Los Angeles area residents, with two visiting squads from Minnesota and Illinois. All skill levels were represented which meant there was a solid supply of knowledge sharing between the veterans and newbies. One of the kubb’s greatest strengths is the community of people it builds and this day was no exception.
After six rounds of the Klassic system, teams were split into two brackets — the championship and the silver. The championship bracket consisted of the top eight qualifiers. They would go on to play best of three series to determine a winner. Everyone else was in the silver bracket and would continue with one game decisions to determine their winner.
The quarter finals went to the higher seeds as expected with the exception of one upset. The local team and sixth seeded, Screaming Emus (Mark Dannelly, Joe Zenas), took the visiting Minnesota team and third seeded, Kubb Nerds (Dee Dee Halvorson, Jason Halvorson), to time in the third game. Screaming Emus prevailed via the tie-breaker (baseline kubbs).
In the semifinals, both of the higher seeded teams won, making the finals match a showdown of the first and second seeded teams. In the qualifying rounds, Skoly Rollors (Evan Fitzgerald, Michelle Fitzgerald, Christopher Jones) finished first by only one-hundredth of a point ahead of Lumber Liquidators (Kate Buckley, Ben Petrillo, Julian Petrillo). They had played earlier in the day, but took the game to time with Skoly Rollors leading. This was an exciting rematch for both teams.
The first game started off with a very back-and-forth feel. Each team was taking out a baseline kubb at a time and the other team would answer on the next turn. The Lumber Liquidators failed to clear a couple field kubbs and the Skolly Rollors didn’t waste their chance. They won the game on that turn.
The Lumber Liquidators came out swinging with a baseline kubb hit on their first turn in game two. From there it was a couple turns of “who can miss the field kubb the most” before the Skolly Rollors returned to earlier form with a big three baseline turn. The Lumber Liquidators hung around clearing their field kubbs but not adding any new ones for a few rounds. Once the Skolly Rollors cleared their baseline, the six kubbs in play proved to be too much for the Lumber Liquidators. They left one field kubb standing, giving the Skolly Rollors a step up that ultimately ended the game four batons later.
Congratulations to all of the teams. The West Coast Championships did a great job demonstrating what kubb is all about — a strong community of good people coming together for fun, sportsmanship, and friendly competition.
See photos from the tournament
We’ve added great shots to our Facebook album.