EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. — The annual kubb pilgrimage to the Eau Claire Soccer Fields for the U.S. National Kubb Championship took place on July 13 and 14. Teams from all over—including 19 states, Washington D.C., and even the country of Sweden participated in the field of 126 teams.

It was a hot one this year, with bright sunny skies, only the occasional breeze, and temperatures pushing the mercury towards 90. Luckily, Girls on the Run were serving up refreshments and their beloved Swedish brats throughout the weekend. In addition to that, Central Arkansas Kubb brilliantly sponsored a beer exchange, which encouraged people to bring their favorite craft brews from home to trade with a large supply of Arkansas beers. Needless to say, this was a popular tent on Saturday.

As in years past, Saturday began with group play, in which every team played the other three teams in their group with best-of-three matches. The results of this seeded all teams into the championship bracket. In this bracket, matches continued to be best-of-three. Winners moved on, while losers dropped into the bronze bracket. Losing teams in the round of 64 dropped to the silver bracket. New this year, the 32 losing teams in the third round (round of 32) were able to participate in The Brewing Projekt’s T17 tournament. This voluntary tournament allowed teams who failed to make it to Sunday but still had a little kubb left in them battle it out for unofficial placements of 17 to 32. The top 16 teams in the championship bracket would return on Sunday.

Sunday morning started with a new round of group play, this time with the top 16 teams being broken into four groups. There were many familiar faces, and a few new ones to this field. Below are the Sunday groups:

Quarter One

Quarter Two

Quarter Three

Quarter Four

With every year producing more and more high-caliber teams, no one’s spot on Sunday is guaranteed. Plenty of great teams didn’t make the cut, and even for those who did, a number of great teams didn’t make it out of Sunday group play. Kubb On’s Facebook page live streamed many of these great battles.

The top teams in each group moved on to the semi-finals. It was no surprise to any kubb follower that 2, 4, 6 Mafia was one of those teams. The defending champs were joined by other well-known teams, Skol, Chaska Blue, and Kubbitz. Notably absent from this year’s top four was KubbUnited.com, the runners-up in the previous three years.

Defending Champions 2, 4, 6 Mafia took on and beat Kubbitz, while Skol matched up with and defeated Chaska Blue.

For those who follow kubb, it’s beginning to feel like an annual tradition to see Gregg Jochimsen on the finals pitch. This marked his fourth time in as many years battling for the top spot. Jochimsen’s 2, 4, 6 Mafia teammates, Scott Forster and Grant Scott, were of course no strangers to the championship pitch either. Skol’s Evan Fitzgerald also knows what it takes to win a national title, but it was the first visit for his teammates Luke Peikert and Pat Rupp.

Game one looked like it was all Skol after an impressive turn going three-for-four on the back row, leaving just one baseline. Jochimsen drilled back the now five kubbs in play into a tidy group full of forced footprints. He blasted it down in one, leaving five batons for 2, 4, 6 to have their own impressive answer turn that cleared all but one of their baseline kubbs. It was now eight kubbs in play, and a seemingly great position for Skol to be in. Rupp and Fitzgerald took down the eight field kubbs leaving Peikert in the red zone. That last pesky 8 meter was just out of reach though, and 2, 4, 6 Mafia would get another turn. Despite another very tight grouping by Jochimsen, they too were unable to clear their single remaining baseline kubb. Now it was time for Skol to have another chance with eight in play. This time the pile was just a bit trickier, and took five batons. They were again unable to snag that remaining 8 meter kubb. In answering, Jochimsen threw back another solid group, and this time 2, 4, 6 Mafia was able to clear it with two batons. It took three more batons, but that last 8 meter was history and Scott had no trouble slaying the king.

In game two, 2, 4, 6 Mafia stayed hot with a two-for-two opening. Skol failed to answer with any and 2, 4, 6 Mafia kept rolling with another two baseline kubbs on their next turn. Now with four in play, it was important for Skol to make some progress. Rupp took down the group in two, nearly missing out on a field to baseline double. Fitzgerald finally broke the ice on their back row, but they only added one. It was a good position for 2, 4, 6 Mafia—just five field kubbs and one baseline. It took only four batons before 2, 4, 6 Mafia won the game and their second straight national title.

This historic win puts Jochmisen’s name on the trophy a record-breaking four straight years. Forster is just a year behind with three straight wins, and Scott also becomes a four-time winner, although not consecutively. In addition to the top prize, Jochmisen was also recognized with the Bästa Inkastare Award, given to the top driller of the weekend.

The podium at the 2019 U.S. National Kubb Championship.

Photos courtesy of Bryan Jones.

Final Results

Championship Bracket

  1. 2, 4, 6 Mafia (Scott Forster, Gregg Jochimsen, Grant Scott)
  2. Skol (Evan Fitzgerald, Luke Peikert, Pat Rupp)
  3. Chaska Blue (Matt Braa, Jason Larson, Tyler Patterson)
  4. Kubbitz (Dan Drumm, Jim Embke, Jeff Gibson, Riley Radcliffe)

Silver Bracket

  1. The Super Magical Kubba-Sauraus-Giggle-Gigit Pickle Eating Machine
  2. The Kubbing Projekt
  3. Ragnarok
  4. Corey’s Fire Crotch

Bronze Bracket

  1. Great Shape Fellas
  2. Strawberry Khubarb Pie
  3. The Big Kubbowski
  4. Fyre Drill

Watch Finals Match

Watch the archived live stream of the finals match on Facebook