Today’s Skill Builder Wednesday is focused on baton efficiency. Here are four games designed to help you practice hitting down multiple kubbs with less batons.

3 x 4

This is a great practice for getting your rotation perfect and trying to drive a bunch of wood backwards. Line up four kubbs in three separate rows, all a kubb distance apart, and all flat faced. Use six batons. Your goal is to get each row down with one baton. You’ll use the extra batons to clean up the mess when you don’t succeed. Make this a game by playing 10 rounds. Score one point for every foursome (in a direct line only) and deduct one point for leaving any kubbs standing after six batons. You’ll have to do some math each time this happens. For example, if you get one foursome down, but leave some kubbs standing, you score zero for the turn. Another variation is to compete with another player by throwing batons back and forth until someone gets 10 foursomes to win.

10 Skulls (AKA: 10/6)

Line up five kubbs horizontally across the centerline about a baton length apart. Directly behind each one place another kubb about a baton length distance for a total of ten kubbs in “doubles” formation. The front one can be corner faced to add an element of difficulty. The goal is to get all 10 kubbs down with six batons or less. Ideally, you want to get them all down (two at a time) using only five batons. It’s quick and easy without a lot of debris to pick up after each round. It forces you to laser focus on the doubles that are lined up. Set a goal; say, to get less than five kubbs standing after 10 rounds. It’s like bowling. Getting a “perfect game” after 10 frames is not easy.

Photo of 10 Skulls setup.

21 Skulls

This is the same game as 10 Skulls, but you’re using 21 kubbs. Set up seven rows of three kubbs, each a kubb distance apart in every direction. The goal is to use only six batons and see how many “skulls” (kubbs) you can topple. This can also be a competition between two or more players. Throw 10 frames like you would do in bowling. After each frame, write down the number of kubbs left standing. The lowest score possible is 0. If one kubb is left after every turn, the final score would be 10. Have a game where all the kubbs are angle facing; or, only the front ones are, but the other ones are not.

Pyramid Skulls

Arrange 10 kubbs in a pyramid formation a kubb distance apart in all directions. In the first row there is one kubb (the point pin), two in the second row, three in the third row, and four in the fourth row. Only five batons are used in this game (you always want a sixth one for a king shot in a real game situation!). Play 10 frames. After all five batons are thrown, use the following scoring:

  • 1 point for every baton not used
  • 0 points if you cleared the pile with five
  • -1 point for every kubb left standing

A realistic goal after finishing 10 rounds is to be in the plus range. This is a great competition between players. High score wins. If it’s a tie, each player throws one baton at the pyramid arrangement and the most down wins. It’s great winter practice for inside a barn like I’ve got or in a garage, basement, or other small enclosure. Here is a picture of the setup in my barn. I use markings on the floor for different games. I used circles under these 10 kubbs.

Here is a typical scoresheet for a Pyramid Skulls game. In this case, Jill is the winner.

Example scoresheet