Photo courtesy of Eric Anderson.
EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. — The Inaugural Eau Claire Co-Ed Kubb Championship was held on Aug. 26 at Wagners Complexx in Eau Claire. This sand tournament was co-hosted by the U.S. National Kubb Championship and the Eau Claire Kubb League. Teams needed to be comprised of at least three players, with each team having at least one female player and one male player. Over 55 players on 16 teams participated and ages ranged from nine to 73 years old. The tournament was also a fundraiser for Prevent Suicide Chippewa Valley Coalition. The weather was not the best, as it rained on and off, and the temperatures were in the high 50s most of the day.
The teams were grouped into four groups of four, and each team played the other three teams in their group in a best-of-three match with 45 minute time limits. After the preliminary group-play rounds were complete, all 16 teams made the championship bracket. Number one seeds played number four seeds from a different group, and number two seeds played number three seeds from a different group. The eight winning teams continued on in the championship bracket, while the eight teams that did not win entered the best-of-one consolation bracket. All teams in the consolation bracket and championship bracket played out to their final spot.
The championship bracket semifinals consisted of matchups between Tyr’s Tre (Jeff Gibson, Emily Kulinski, Cory Shay) versus Nerds and Company (Matthew Erdman, Dee Dee Halvorson, Jason Halvorson, Bridget Long) and Kubbana Boyz and Girl (Ryan Braaten, Mackenzie Gabler, Phil Strozinski) versus PMJ Kubboom (Josie Klages, Max Klages, Pat Klages). Nerds and Company won against Kubbana Boyz and Girl to take the first Co-Ed Kubb Championship title.
The consolation final consisted of Family Matters (Troy Curtin, Soomin Curtin, Bora Evans, Brian Evans) versus MSG Kubboom (Gina Keenan, Sam Klages, Mike Rogney), with MSG Kubboom winning the consolation bracket.
About 15 minute before the tournament started, teams put all 10 kubbs on the centerline, five on each side of the king. Teams were lined up across from each other with teams throwing at the kubbs on their right side of the pitch. On the count of three, one player from all 16 teams threw at a kubb. If a player missed, that team was eliminated. The teams that knocked a kubb over continued on into the next round. The team that hit the most in a row then won a pizza and order of cheese curds for lunch. This was done again before the playoffs. The tournament also had a side game that had one kubb positioned at every meter from 1 meter to 8 meters (a king was at 4 meters). For $1, a player could attempt to hit as many kubbs in a row as they could. Three players hit all eight. Those three players than had a throw-off at the end of the day, and the winner won a brand new kubb set.
The U.S. National Kubb Championship and Eau Claire Kubb League plan to continue co-hosting a co-ed tournament annually.