Photos courtesy of Bryan Jones.
HEIST OP DEN BERG, Belgium — 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. This is a recap of their experiences at the Dissers Kubb Trophy.
Kubb On: Tour (Bryan Jones, Christopher Jones, Kyle Weakland) met up in Belgium and were ready for their first European tournament as a united team. After Friday night’s 1v1 tournament, the team had a little more of a feel for the grounds and the kubb sets. Overall, the ground was hard, and very unpredictable. The heavy sets were a bit of an adjustment compared the U.S. sets they were used to. This, however, wasn’t the biggest wrench thrown at them—Belgium doesn’t let players throw two batons in a row. This revelation, which wasn’t found out until game one, really threw off Kubb On: Tour’s groove. Now the earlier defined roles weren’t necessarily possible.
Despite this new-to-the-team development, Kubb On: Tour managed to take their first couple of group matches 2-0. In match three, the team took game one, but couldn’t close out game two before time was called. Belgium uses an accelerated match technique when time is called. This meant kubbs would be removed from the game each turn. Kubb On: Tour lost the tie-breaker king toss, meaning they would be second to remove kubbs. Unfortunately, the other team was able to finish the game before Kubb On: Tour could and the match was left in a tie at one game a piece.
That finish was still good enough for Kubb On: Tour to finish top of their group. The Dissers format takes the top two teams from qualifying groups and places them in a second round of championship group play. The group Kubb On: Tour ended up in was quite tough, and the team struggled with the one baton at a time play, and had trouble finishing games. They ended up with one 2-0 match win, one 1-1 tie, and two 0-2 losses. This record wasn’t enough to move on to the top 16. Kubb On: Tour did get to play two more matches, which they won, finishing 17 overall.
After finishing their day, the Kubb On: Tour guys watched a lot of great kubb matches. The finals came down to Kubb Monsieur of Belgium versus Gipfelstürmer of Germany. Kubb On: Tour actually matched up with Gipfelstürmer in their second group of the day, and tied them one game a piece. The finals pitch was similar to the Pfäzler Kubb Open, in that it was surrounded by a wooden structure with cup holders and banners. This really gives the atmosphere a sort of prestige that makes kubb seem so much more than a yard game. The crowd was lively and much closer to that of a football game than a golf match.
Kubb Monsieur had been playing hot all day, and was one of the favorites going into the tournament. They opened with a kubb, and picked up two more on their next turn, despite calling themselves on a helicopter. Gipfelstürmer was struggling to get much off their back row, and didn’t do themselves any favors with an early penalty kubb. Kubb Monsieur wrapped up the first game on only their third turn.
In game two, Gipfelstürmer was showing signs of a comeback, but Kubb Monsieur didn’t slow down. They were on a roll and managed to clear their back row on their first turn with six sticks. Despite a tight group and only having only one 8 meter kubb remaining, Gipfelstürmer didn’t have enough batons to finish the game on the next turn. Kubb Monsieur would take game two on a 10 kubb drill.
At this point it was do or die for Gipfelstürmer. Game three saw them come out strong, but Kubb Monsieur didn’t take their foot off the gas. On Gipfelstürmer’s second turn, they ran into some bad luck on the field kubbs and used up all of their batons to clear. Kubb Monsieur had six kubbs to drill, and only one remaining on their back line. They surprisingly took four to clear, but used the last two batons to hit their baseline kubb and knock over the king. Kubb Monsieur won the match and the 2018 Dissers Kubb Trophy 3-0.
As Kubb On: Tour was quickly learning, the European kubb scene was full of great people and fierce competition. Everyone they encountered throughout the day was friendly and just as excited as them to learn about each other’s country’s take on kubb. The Dissers tournament only made them more excited for their next stop in Switzerland.
- Kubb Monsieur
Consolation Winner: Hägar-Club Schindhard e.V.
Watch Finals Match
Watch the archived live stream of the finals match on Facebook