Welcome to Skill Builder Wednesday! Each week will provide a challenge, contest, or kubb game variation guaranteed to hone your kubb skills and make your practices fun and exciting. These are challenges Phil Dickinson has designed or collected from kubb friends over the years. Why not resist the urge to play a real game against an opponent or a phantom game against yourself and try something different? It may boost your level of play! This weekly series will end on July 4 when Dickinson’s new book, Kubb Remastered, is scheduled for release.

Ready? Here are four fun contests from kubb aficionado, Alberto Diomede, of Milan, Italy.

The Aisle (or 60)

Photo of the Aisle setup.Alberto designed this one to work the 6 and 7 meter distances that don’t often get played. It’s called, The Aisle, because of how looks when laid out. He also calls it “60” because that’s the maximum points in the game. Here’s how it’s set it up:

  1. Five kubbs are used on each side of the pitch placing them in the following manner:
    • The first one is a baton length to the left of the midfield pin at 4 meters.
    • The second one is 60 cm (about two baton lengths) to the left and 1 meter behind the first kubb.
    • The third kubb is one 60 cm to the left and one meter behind the second kubb.
    • The fourth kubb is one 60 cm to the left and one meter behind the third kubb.
    • The fifth kubb is 60 cm to the left and one meter behind the fourth kubb. This one should be on the baseline.
  2. The same formation is completed on the opposite half of the pitch so that all the kubbs form like an oblique aisle. You will have a mirror image on both sides of the pitch from the centerline back to each baseline.

The player must toss five batons on one half of the pitch and then repeat on the other. Points are awarded according to the distance. For example, you achieve four points if you hit the kubb at 4 meters, five points for 5 meters, six points for 6 meters, and so on. The maximum points for each side is 30 (4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 = 30). It’s good practice for throwing at all distances.

This game would make a great competition between two people, one on each baseline. Use the same point system (up to 30 points total) or you get one point for each kubb you knock down, and an extra point for each baton you don’t use (when you have a perfect five for five turn or you get more than one kubb down in a single throw). This game tempts you to go for doubles.

Circling The Pitch

You will use 26 kubbs spread out as evenly as possible using all four lines of the pitch. Set five kubbs on each baseline and eight on each sideline. Throw six batons from one baseline aiming at getting the kubbs that are anywhere from 5 meters away up to 8 meters away. Move to the opposite baseline and throw the six batons again at the opposite side of the pitch. Then you are done (you have circled the pitch). You get five points for each sideline kubb you knock down and eight points for each base kubb you get down. The total maximum points for this game is 160.

Variation: Keep “circling the pitch” (moving from baseline to baseline) until you get all the kubbs down. Count how many batons it takes to complete. The perfect game is 26, short of any combination shots, which is more likely early in the game.

Bowling For Kubbs

Alberto designed this game to help improve his blasting technique. Put six kubbs starting at the centerline and going upfield like bowling pins—the first row has one kubb, the second row behind it has two kubbs, and the third row has three kubbs. Make them a kubb distance apart. You have two attempts (batons) to hit all six kubbs down. “Bowl” 10 frames counting “strikes and spares” for a total maximum score of 60 points (a perfect game).

Drill And Blast

Alberto designed this game for improving both drilling and blasting. It consists of drilling six kubbs beyond the centerline, raising them defensively, and trying to hit them down with six batons. The sidelines cannot be used for a forced raise to one footprint. Points are calculated as follows: when there are kubbs still standing, every field kubb counts as minus one point. If they have all been toppled with six batons, every baton not used counts as plus one point. A fixed number of rounds—say, five or 10—are played per player. Whoever gets the most points wins.