In the United States, most kubb tournaments use a standard set of rules. There may be a few exceptions or additions, but usually players can expect a similar rule set from tournament to tournament. Below, we’ll look at those generally accepted standards and touch on some of the exceptions.

U.S. National Kubb Championship Rules

In the United States the “go-to” rulebook comes from the U.S. National Kubb Championship. Currently at version 3.2, the U.S. rules cover most situations you may encounter during a game of kubb. These are tweaked from time to time as new situations arise or clarifications are needed. Nearly every tournament in the country uses these rules, or at least starts with these rules. It’s a good idea to read through them if you intend to play in any tournaments.

Kubb United Rules of Open Play

Recently, Kubb United has introduced their Rules of Open Play, which takes the standard U.S. National ruleset and clarifies or tweaks a few rules. Of particular note, the Kubb United rules specify that a kubb must be 100 percent in-bounds instead of 50 percent. They also use the neighbor rule, that rewards inkasters for kubbs that rest fully supported by other kubbs. It’s a good idea to give the full document a read as its clarifications can really help you understand the rules.

Exceptions and Additions

It’s not entirely uncommon for tournament directors to throw in a special rule or two for their tournaments. For example, the St. Paul Kubb Society judges kubbs in or out of bounds from the center stake to the back stake, instead of the U.S. National style of end to end stakes. It could also be an additional rule, such as requiring the “sure shot” (throwing backwards, between your legs) when throwing at a king.

One of the most common rule variations is team size. There are tournaments across the U.S. that vary in size from 1v1 to 6v6 and everything in-between. The most common is two or three person teams, but it’s always a good idea to check the official registration of each tournament to make sure you’ve got the right-sized team to compete.

The beauty of kubb is that you can add or subtract whatever rules you want to put a different spin on the game. Just remember, when it comes to tournaments, it’s important to follow the rules that the tournament director has chosen. Kubb is also a game for everyone, so it’s equally important to help your fellow kubb players understand the rules when you’re playing with them. Often times rules are only broken because a player is not aware of it.

Questions, comments, clarifications? Let us know in the comments!

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