EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — This year Chaska Kubb Club brought their popular World 1v1 Kubb Championship to Eau Claire as part of the National Kubb Championship weekend. This resulted in phenomenal turnout, as 64 players competed to be the best kubb player in the world and wear the coveted blue Jacket. Organizer John Oman said the idea to bring the tournament to Eau Claire the Friday before nationals was inspired by tournaments in Europe that take a similar approach.

They chose the format of having group play that lead into four separate gold, silver, bronze, and consolation brackets to mirror the U.S. National Championship and to reduce the amount of games played so that players wouldn’t be worn out the next day.

The group play resulted in a gold bracket filled with some of the best kubb players today and lead too a top eight of Mark Oman, Phil Goetstouwers, J.R. Hrejsa, Cody Glorioso, Phil Dickinson, Ben Lancette, Kyle Weakland, and Ethan Forney.

In the quarter finals, Goetstouwers was able to defeat last year’s champion, Oman, in three games, Hrejsa knocked out Glorioso in two games, Dickinson beat Lancette in two games, and Forney was able to get past Weakland in three games. This guaranteed a new champion since last year’s champion and all past champions were eliminated going into the semi-finals.

In the first semi-final, Goetstouwers (Lamberton, Minnesota) played Hresja (Indian River, Michigan) and blanked hime two games to zero, becoming the first to advance to the championship match. In the second semi-final match, Dickinson (Alanson, Michigan) took on Forney (Winston-Salem, North Carolina). Forney, using superior 8 meter play, won two games to zero.

In the finals, Goetstouwers got out to a strong start in game one by clearing four 8 meters by the end of his first turn with six batons. He used that momentum to win the game on his next turn. 

In game two, Forney took it up a step by clearing Goetstouwers’ back line by turn two, and finishing off the game in turn three without even losing one baseline kubb.

In game three, Forney started on fire, clearing three baselines in his first turn to jump to an early lead. In the next turn, Goetstouwers returned the favor by clearing three baselines to put the pressure back on his opponent. Forney answered back by clearing the baseline but left Goetstouwers with a chance to win if he could clear nine field kubbs and the last baseline in five batons. Goetstouwers was able to blast well, but a miss at the last field kubb cost him a baton, and perhaps a chance at the king. He was still able to clear the last 8 meter though, putting 10 kubbs in play. Forney stayed focused and was able to clear the 10 field kubbs in five batons, leaving the sixth for the king and the win at the 2019 World 1v1 Championship.

Photo courtesy of J.P. Larson.