HARTFORD, Wisc. — Kettle Moraine Kubb’s inaugural Kubb on the Pond tournament made its debut just off the trails in beautiful Schoof’s Preserve on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. The weather and driving conditions put a damper on attendance, with snow, sleet, and rain expected throughout the day, but even that didn’t stop a dedicated band of self-proclaimed “kubb crazies” from showing up for a day of kubb on the frozen pond. Ten players, representing Motor City Kubb, Fox Valley Kubb, Energy City Kubb, and Kettle Moraine Kubb, bundled up and braved the wintery weather for a “super cool knock-down good time.”
The morning started off according to forecast with temperatures hovering around 32 degrees and a wet snow falling as everyone arrived to the tournament site. The always prepared and thoughtful hosts Chris and Steve McDiarmid had already set up warming tents with fire pits at each end of the pitches to help ward off the elements between kubb matches. Once everyone had arrived, there was a quick overview of the rules and the first round of scrambled teams was determined. By the start of round one, the snow had transitioned to an icy sleet and then rain making for very wet playing conditions. Players retreated to the warming tents between turns where their soggy gloves released steam over the heat of the roaring fires.
The day continued with a total of four one-game rounds of scramble play. Each round saw new teams of two to three players with no repeated teammates, making for an incredibly fun and social environment. At the end of round four, everyone broke for a communal lunch of hot dogs and beans cooked over the fire and a variety of tasty snacks. As lunch was enjoyed, the weather became much more enjoyable too as the precipitation made its way out and the sun peeked through the clouds a few times.
Feeling refreshed from lunch and ready for more kubb, players took to the pitches after being split into championship teams. These teams would remain for the remainder of the tournament. The four teams (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta) were determined by individual players’ scores from the morning scrambler rounds. Cody Glorioso had the highest rank which put him on Team Alpha. He was joined by Matt Green after he won a throw off against Nancy Glorioso and Rick Saegert to break a three-way tie. Team Bravo was made up of Rick Saegert and Nancy Glorioso, followed by Steve McDiarmid, Lynn Saegert, and Mark Weaver on Team Charlie. Team Delta was comprised of Bryan Jones, Chris McDiarmid, and George Sloan.
With the teams all set the championship play began. Team Alpha was up against Team Delta and Team Bravo took on Team Charlie. Pitch conditions had changed throughout the day and at this point there was a layer of wet slush on top of the ice. In the semi-final best-of-three matches, Alpha beat Delta 2-1 and Charlie conquered Bravo in just two games. Now the finals could begin.
In the third place match, Team Bravo fought it out with Team Delta. After some lengthy play both teams took one game each, bringing this battle to a third game. Delta put up a good fight, but ultimately Bravo overtook them and claimed the third place win.
In the battle for first place, Team Alpha was up against Team Charlie. Game one started off with Charlie winning the king lag, followed by a quick taking of their opponent’s first baseline kubb. Alpha responded by knocking down two of Team Charlie’s baseline kubbs. Both teams exchanged the lead until Team Alpha took the win.
In game two, Team Alpha started one for two on their opening throws. Team Charlie fired back by adding three kubbs. In their next turn, Alpha added a kubb and Charlie narrowly missed hitting two 8 meter shots. By the third round, both teams were tied with three kubbs each. Steve McDiarmid had unusual baton action during his blast and ended up hitting a field kubb twice with the same baton, which kept the kubb upright. The next round of turns saw Alpha struggling to get their two remaining baseline kubbs, but the pressure was put on by Team Charlie when they knocked their last two baseline kubbs. With eight kubbs in play, Cody Glorioso of Team Alpha blasted all the field kubbs with his three batons. Living up to the Alpha name, Matt Green went on to throw a perfect 100 percent, knocking off the two remaining baseline kubbs and slaying the king. Team Alpha became the 2019 Kubb on the Pond champions!
Photos courtesy of Bryan Jones.