Photo courtesy of Bryan Jones.

EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. — The largest kubb tournament in North America, the U.S. National Kubb Championship, took place this past Saturday and Sunday at the Eau Claire Soccer Park. A field of 128 teams, made up of three or more players each, took to the pitches to battle.

The day started with group play, where groups of four teams each would play one another in best of three matches. Each team in a group was ranked by their record, and then seeded into the championship bracket.

After the first round of championship play, the losing 64 teams moved to the bronze bracket, while the winners continued on in the championship bracket. After the second round, or round of 64, losing teams moved to the silver bracket, while the winners remained in the championship bracket. In both the silver and bronze brackets, matches were one game each. Medals were awarded for the top four teams of each bracket.

In the championship bracket, the round of 32 decided who made it to Sunday. These were some of the toughest matchups all day, with many great teams just missing out on that coveted trip to Sunday. The victorious teams would return the next day for even more tough battles.

Sunday started with the top 16 teams divided into four groups of four teams each. Much like group play on Saturday, these teams played every team in their group and were then ranked based on record. The fourth place teams finished tied thirteenth, third place tied ninth, second place tied fifth, and the top teams from each group moved on to the semifinals.

The semifinals saw defending champion Damage Incorporated (Darren Finger, Scott Forster, Gregg Jochimsen) take on Chaska Meets Erjo16 (Björn Görlitz, Robert Harnack, John Oman, Mark Oman), a team featuring two German players. On the other side, the 2016 runner-up KubbUnited.com (Josh Feathers, Chris Hodges, Dave Giese) was matched against Kubbanite (Phil Goetstouwers, Matthew Erdman, Ford Rolfsrud).

Damage Incorporated took the first game, but Chaska Meets Erjo16 wasn’t going down without a fight. They were able to capture game two with nine kubbs in play. The third game also went to nine kubbs in play, but this time Damage Incorporated won. You can view the archived livestream of this match on Facebook.

On the other pitch, KubbUnited.com came out quick against Kubbanite, taking game one in just a few turns. Kubbanite was able to stick around a little longer in game two, but KubbUnited.com would ultimately walk away victorious.

The finals were a familiar scene—Damage Incorporated versus KubbUnited.com. This was the same matchup as in 2016. The big crowd was really into the match, with big oohs and aahs accompanying every hit or near miss. Game one started as a classic back-and-forth with both teams utilizing strong drilling and solid eight meter play. The winning turn saw Damage Incorporated drill seven kubbs and clear them with two batons. The remaining four batons would knock over the last two baseline kubbs and the king. Damage Incorporated had a 1-0 lead, and the first throws for the next game.

Damage Incorporated stayed hot with a two-for-two baseline kubb opening. KubbUnited.com was only able to answer with one baseline. Damage Incorporated wasn’t showing any signs of slowing down, and took game two on the next turn. The archived livestream of this match is available on Facebook.

When asked about the win, Finger explained, “Our team Damage Incorporated fits well together. We each have our roles and our play peaked on Sunday, so we were fortunate. It was a complete team effort.” Jochimsen added, “I’m very fortunate to be on a team with two incredible players, but most importantly good friends.”

The third place game saw two Chaska Kubb teams battle it out. This was a one game match in which Kubbanite was victorious.

Forster summed up the whole weekend when he said, “It truly is an amazing experience to be a part of a tournament with so many skilled kubb players from all over the country and world.”

See photos from the tournament

We’ve added great shots to our Facebook album.

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Watch the finals on YouTube

The championship finals match between Damage Incorporated and KubbUnited.com

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