Photos courtesy of Bryan Jones and Kyle Weakland.
SCHINDHARD, Germany — As previously reported, a few Kubb On staff members are making the trip to Europe to compete in the 3 Nations Cup. Throughout the trip, we’ll be recapping their adventures.
The trip kicked off with Bryan Jones and Kyle Weakland meeting up in Stuttgart, Germany. From there they took a train to a small city outside of Schindhard, where they met with Aline Rennhard and Nicolas Vögeli, who gave them a ride into the small town of Schindhard. Vögeli and Rennhard pulled up to the train station in a white Volkswagen bus, complete with a mattress in the back for sleeping on site at kubb tournaments. They shared stories and asked questions about each other’s kubb scenes on the ride into town until they arrived at the park for the Dubbeglaschampionship, the 1v1 tournament that takes place the Friday before the Pfälzer Kubb Open. They were met by Pfälzer Kubb Open tournament director Jens Meier, with a handshake and big smile welcoming them to the tournament and saying how happy he was to have them there.
After dropping off their bags in their rented apartment, just a short walk from the tournament grounds, the Kubb On guys got out on the pitches to practice. The kubb sets were much smaller than the Americans were accustomed to using in the U.S. so they had to adjust their game to adapt to the new sets. After warming up, it was announced the 1v1 tournament was sold out with 128 participants. The tournament format was best of five games, with a 40 minute match time limit that would be followed by a tiebreaker accelerated play until the match was decided. Win the match and move on, lose and you’d be done for the day. Each person was randomly matched with an opponent and the games began.
Play commenced and both Jones and Weakland were able to pull off first round wins while working out some rust and adjusting to the new sets. In the second round both players were matched with very tough experienced opponents. Jones was knocked out 2-0 while Weakland was able to come back after losing the first game to win 2-1, ending the third game in accelerated play. In the third round, Kyle was matched with a player from Kubb Monsieur, a team that placed third at the World Championships last year.
At this point, the sun was going down and the kubbs were getting harder to see in the limited light. After dropping the first game again, Kyle was able to battle back in the dark to win in accelerated play 2-1 in a match that was more about who could see better in the lack of light than who was a better kubb player. Luckily, the next round would be played under the portable lights that were erected between rounds. Again Kyle was matched with a player from Kubb Monsieur, Nils Schoeters. This time Kyle started out hot and used an advantage line to take game one. In the next two games, Van showed why his team placed third at the World Championship, blasting away piles of five kubbs in a single baton, giving him great opportunities to clear Kyle’s back line to win 2-1 in accelerated play. This placed Weakland tied ninth out of 128 total players.
After they were both knocked out, the Kubb On guys spent the rest of the night taking pictures and watching some of the best players in the world battle for the top prize. The whole atmosphere around the finals was incredibly exciting. It was time for the final battle. The top two players Franz Ludwig and David Jüttke entered the Pfälzer Kubb Open Stadium, a pitch surrounded by a short banner-covered structure complete with a cup holder rail for spectators to put their beers while they sat close to the action. The lights lit up the stadium like a Friday night football game so none of the action could be missed.
By the time the final match started it was about 2 a.m., everyone was cheering or chanting for their favorite player. As Jüttke and Ludwig dazzled the crowd with play, spectators were passing around a large bottle of mystery alcohol and the crowd would go wild every time someone took a swig. Jüttke took the first two games before Ludwig was able to battle back to even the match 2-2 in the best of five match. In the final game, each player got one 8 meter in their first turn but Jüttke, in his second turn, was able to clear the two field kubbs with one baton and go four for five on 8 meter shots to clear the back line. Ludwig battled back the next turn but was unable to hold off Jüttke who cleared the field on his next turn to with the 2018 Dubbeglaschampionship!
After the victory, the awards ceremony was held which included lighting a wooden cutout of the Haegar-Schindhard club logo on fire. By this time it was almost 3 a.m., everyone finished the last of their drinks before heading to their beds to get a little sleep before the Pfälzer Kubb Open the next morning.
Watch Finals Match
Watch the archived live stream of the finals match on Facebook
Watch Awards Ceremony
Watch the archived live stream of the awards ceremony