Photos courtesy of Jesse Fraim.
ALANSON, Mich. — Great Lakes Kubb Stadium at Phil and Stormy Dickinson’s Windy Acres Farm played host to the fourth annual Great Lakes Kubb Championship on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017.
It was a sunny, picturesque Northern Michigan day with temperatures starting in the mid 40s that warmed into t-shirt and shorts weather by lunch time. Eight teams from three states were competing—Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio. All skill levels were represented, ranging from a former U.S. National Champion to a player competing in his first ever kubb tournament.
The event started off with a quick tournament for kids aged 11 and under. The smaller pitches were dominated by Andrew Cole, Sebastian Mendoza, and Khloe Hrejsa each winning their age groups (10–11, 8–9, and 6–7 respectively) with Andrew Cole winning the championship.
In the main event, teams competed using the Kubb United ruleset and accelerated kubb match rules to determine winners instead of having ties. Instead of the meat grinder format, every team played each other once and the tournament directors used the number of points accumulated from each round to determine seed for an eight team championship bracket. All matches in qualifying were best of one game with a 25 minute time limit. Once the playoffs were seeded, all matches were a best-of-three format with no time limit.
Two matches in the qualifying rounds ended up going to the time limit and used the accelerated kubb match rules. In the first round of qualifying, one match ended up being a marathon, even after four rounds of overtime and four kubbs removed from the game. It ended up being a great tool for all players to better familiarize themselves with this alternative way to finish a game without having a tie.
The second match that ended up using the accelerated kubb match finish was The Blocking Dead (Dave Giese, Bryan Jones) versus Kubb Squirrels (Jesse Fraim, Neil Weakland). Phil Dickinson live-streamed the end of this match where Kubb Squirrels had an epic comeback on the last turn of regulation. After Jesse Fraim threw two kubbs into play, Dickinson called time on the match. Fraim finished his inkast and the team blasted down the pile. Neil Weakland stepped up to the line with his last baton and hit a clutch 8 meter shot to clear the baseline. Fraim stepped up to slay the king and steal the win with his last baton, but it didn’t strike the king squarely, as it wobbled but did not go down. Dave Giese won the king lag to start overtime and The Blocking Dead removed the pesky punishment kubb from their last turn and they went on to win the match in the first turn of overtime.
The first round of playoffs saw no upsets, which set-up an excellent semi-finals. The top seeded Blocking Dead beat the fourth seeded Plays with Wood (J.R. Hrejsa, Joe Hrejsa) two games to zero. In the other semi-final, the second seeded Kubb Squirrels took care of business and eliminated the always dangerous third seed Hurling Chunks (Phil Dickinson, Bryan Hibbler) two games to zero.
The crowd was hoping to see a repeat of the highly competitive game they saw between The Blocking Dead and Kubb Squirrels earlier, and the finals delivered. Weakland and Fraim took advantage of a slow start from Giese and Jones, and the Kubb Squirrels took a 1-0 lead on the back of Weakland’s great 8 meter play. The Blocking Dead returned the favor in game two, as they cleared four of five baseline kubbs in one turn. The Squirrels couldn’t repeat their 8 meter magic in game two, and this match headed to a game three. In the third game, the Kubb Squirrels got off to another slow 8 meter start, and Giese took advantage. Jones showed the crowd how to blast down piles with efficiency, leaving Giese with three batons each turn to put the third game and the championship away.
The four teams that lost during the first round of the playoffs competed for the silver and bronze consolation bracket championships. Kubb Scouts (Greg Weakland, Maria Weakland from Randolph, Ohio) won the silver consolation while Kubbagirls (Stormy Dickinson, Nancy Jones from Monroe and Alanson, Michigan) won the bronze consolation.
During the lunch break, Phil Dickinson held the 8 Meter Sniper Challenge to see who was the best player at 8 meter shots. Competitors would need to hit at least two of their six shots at 8 meters each round. If you hit at least two of your shots, you moved onto the next round. If you did not, you were eliminated and removed from the competition. After three rounds, Greg Weakland from the Burning River Kubb Club was the only player that hit at least two shots, and won the competition.
Congratulations to all of the competitors on a well played weekend of kubb. The finals of the tournament were live streamed and can be viewed on the Kubb On Facebook page. The last 17 minutes of the Blocking Dead versus Kubb Squirrels qualifying match were live streamed by Phil Dickinson on his personal Facebook page. The first and third place matches were also recorded and will be available on the Kubb On YouTube page in the near future.
- The Blocking Dead (Dave Giese, Bryan Jones)
- Kubb Squirrels (Jesse Fraim, Neil Weakland)
- Plays with Wood (J.R. Hrejsa, Joe Hrejsa)
Kid Kubb Tournament
6–7 age group: Khloe Hrejsa
8–9 age group: Sebastian Mendoza
10–11 age group: Andrew Cole
Champion: Andrew Cole
8 Meter Sniper Challenge
Winner: Greg Weakland