For several years, Chaska Kubb Club has been growing and spreading out geographically to include more members. To combat this, members have started playing virtual kubb. From Phil Goetstouwers in western Minnesota to Mark Oman in western Wisconsin or Ford Rolfsrud who lives across the river from Chaska, Minnesota in Shakopee, Minnesota and Jason Larson in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, the clubs’ members cover a lot of ground. Matt Erdman lives 10 miles to the west of Chaska in Norwood, Minnesota and Phil Dickinson of Alanson, Michigan joined Chaska Kubb as the sixth member of their team that traveled to Sweden in 2018. In fact, only “Neighbor” Paul Knutson, John Oman and Matt Braa are members that actually live in Chaska proper. It has become normal for members to play kubb virtually using Facebook Messenger amongst the members that live farther away. This took place over the fall and winter months of 2018 and 2019.
Virtual kubb is a very simple form of the game that makes it possible for two opponents to play a match from different locations. Each player (or team) agrees upon a meetup time and sets up their own pitch and game pieces at a location of their choice. When ready, each player performs the king toss and reports via text how far away their throw landed from the king (for example: 3 inches away, touching, knocked it over, etc).
Winner of the lag goes first by throwing two batons. They only need to text back how many base kubbs they knocked down. The opponent picks up that many kubbs at their location and drills them back, stands the kubbs up as a defender probably would, and then throws their four baton turn. They report back how many base kubbs they knocked down in their turn. It is not necessary to report any field kubb information unless there is an advantage line left. In that case, you would state how far away from the middle line the remaining kubb is. It can be assumed that you cleared the field if you report a base kubb quantity.
This back-and-forth reporting continues until the final turn when it is reported that the king is down in a certain number of throws (example: “King down in 5”). Other less-common situations could easily be solved by communicating it back and forth. Penalty kubbs could be communicated, but Chaska players found it easier to place the penalty at a distance or location that they knew they needed practice at. The ultimate goal is to get better at the game so it was felt that self-placing your penalty helps in that way. Trusting your opponent on the other end is a must—without trust, this system of self-raising and reporting will not work.
Virtual World Kubb League
In the fall of 2018, Chaska Kubb embarked on a new journey in the world of kubb. In order to keep the club members playing often despite their geographic challenges, a Virtual World Kubb League was started in an intramural 1v1 format. Eight members signed up and a seven week schedule was created. Players had one week to get their match scheduled and played. Best-of-five matches took place and one point was awarded for each game won. This motivated players even if they had lost the match already and were finishing out the five games. Bracket seeds were created and tournament play began according to a Google Sheet document that everyone could view and report to.
Regular Season Results
- Phil Dickinson
- Mark Oman
- Matt Erdman
- JP Larson
- Phil Goetstouwers
- John Oman
- Paul Knutson
“It’s cool how we all play in our backyard, and the pitch can be different and the weather can be different and all kinds of other things that play in. I chose the kind of pitch I wanted to play on, the type of surface, usually slick, painted lines as much as I could, and my favorite music list. There were a couple times I warmed up in my vehicle waiting my turn. It was that cold. This style would work great for having a 2v2 tournament some day.” —Champion Phil Dickinson
In the spring and summer of 2019, Chaska Kubb is intending to have another Virtual World Kubb League. They are opening it up to the rest of the kubb world. The only requirement is a Facebook account and that you become Facebook friends with everyone else in the league. This allows you to use Facebook Messenger to communicate with them when it is your week to play. The hop is that the kubb community will grow and unite people using this virtual world.
If you are interested in joining a league, contact John Oman either on Facebook or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.