Photo courtesy of Emily Jipp.
BELOIT, Wisc. — On Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018 the third annual U.S. Kubb Open returned to Riverside Park in Beloit. This year the tournament had 64 teams from seven states and Germany. It was a hot and sunny day, which quickly dried up the morning dew. The grass became a stiff, dry surface be lunchtime and kept all the inkasters on their toes.
The big news this year was the history-making broadcast on Fox Sports Wisconsin. Camera crews were there all day capturing the action for use in a later broadcast. Kubb United’s own Chris Hodges was adding color commentary alongside broadcaster Shelley Till of Fox Sports. Be sure to tune into the premiere Aug. 24 on Fox Sports Wisconsin after the Brewers’ game. Fox Sports North will also pick up the broadcast, but the date is not set yet. Stay tuned to Kubb On and Kubb United social media for more info as it’s available.
After seven rounds of the Klassic system, teams were seeded into three brackets: championship, consolation B, and consolation C. The championship bracket was made up of the top 16, B had the next 16, and C was comprised of the next 16. After the first round of the championship bracket, the losing teams would form a consolation A bracket and battle to find out who would finish ninth and tenth. The field was made up of so many good teams this year, even the consolation brackets were no walk-in-the-park and provided some great kubb matches.
The quarter finals were moved to the TV pitches, were Fox Sports had lifts and multiple cameras ready to catch every angle of the action. The crowd was seated on bleachers and were treated to wonderful battles of some truly high-level kubb. The semi-finals matched up el ringers (Dave Ellringer, Sy Ellringer) against Gameday Sports Bar (Lars Arneson, Chad Bevers) and Strike Force Kubb (Pat Rupp, Brian Winistorfer) versus Kubb-A-Doodle-Doods (Joe Malkasian, Demian Moore).
El ringers, lead by Sy’s drilling and Dave’s 8 meter game, came out strong in game one. A few turns in though, Gameday Sports Bar started to find their groove and were the first to clear their baseline. El ringers couldn’t clear their back row, and that allowed Gameday to drill, clear the pile, and topple the king on the next turn.
Game two saw Gameday Sports Bar get out ahead on 8 meters early. El ringers would keep it close, but trailed much of the game. Gameday Sports Bar had a little trouble with one group, and left a two-kubb line. El ringers didn’t take enough advantage, leaving a couple kubbs still standing on their back row. Gameday Sports Bar corrected course on the next turn and cleared their group and took the king for a match victory.
In the other semi-final, Strike Force Kubb started with a two for two open. This wasn’t immediately answered by Kubb-A-Doodle-Doods, but they broke the seal of their baseline a couple turns later. With five kubbs in play, Winistorfer inkasted one his signature tight groups, giving Rupp the opportunity to clear in two. Winistorfer stepped up and took out the remaining baseline kubbs two for two. They slayed the king and took game one.
In game two, Strike Force Kubb kept rolling, while Kubb-A-Doodle-Doods seemed a little cold at 8 meters. The last baseline kubb seemed to give Winistorfer a little trouble, taking all three of his batons, and not leaving any sticks for a king shot. This was now do-or-die for Kubb-A-Doodle-Doods. Moore had been drilling well all day, but this particular turn was a little loose and the pile ate up more batons they wanted. They cleared, but weren’t able to add any kubbs from their own back row. Strike Force Kubb just needed to clear, and clear they did. Rupp hit all seven kubbs in one solid blast. Strike Force Kubb would continue their undefeated streak and take this match too.
In the finals, the number one seeded Strike Force Kubb would match up against the number two seeded Gameday Sports Bar. It was sure to be an exciting match and the crowd was enthusiastic to every great shot and near miss. Gameday Sports Bar would break the ice with a 50 percent four baton turn. Strike Force Kubb would answer in a huge way, but taking down the two fields and all five of their baseline kubbs. Strike Force Kubb won it on their next turn.
It took a few turns into game two before kubbs started falling, but Arneson kicked things off with a beautiful turn where he knocked over two 8 meters. From there it was a little back and forth from both teams, and before you knew it, there were seven kubbs in play. Rupp took down the pile in three, leaving Winistorfer with three batons to take down an 8 meter and the king. He took two to down the baseline. Stepping up to the king, Winistorfer missed. This is a good time to remind you that everyone misses the king. Gameday Sports Bar did their best to take advantage of that gift, but in the end it wasn’t enough. Rupp would clear the group, leaving three batons for Winistorfer to redeem himself, which he did. Strike Force Kubb would finish the day the undefeated champions of the 2018 U.S. Kubb Open.
- Strike Force Kubb (Pat Rupp, Brian Winistorfer)
- Gameday Sports Bar (Lars Arneson, Chad Bevers)
- Kubb-A-Doodle-Doods (Joe Malkasian, Demian Moore)
Watch Match Videos
Watch the archived live streams of various matches on Facebook.
Watch the TV broadcast on YouTube
Originally aired on Fox Sports Wisconsin and Fox Sports North on Aug. 24, 2018.