CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wisc. — A new kind of kubb debuted at the first Big Shooter Kubb Tournament on Saturday. Director Gregg Jochimsen’s modified ruleset is designed to challenge competitive teams and eliminate positional specialists. Games start with an extra five kubbs that must be drilled on turn one. The first team throwing will have four batons, with the standard six thereafter. Teams must be three players, and inkasting must always be evenly divided among the team members (ex. 2-2-1 for the initial five kubbs). Normal U.S. National rules are used for general gameplay, except any remaining field kubbs at the end of a turn do not turn into an advantage line—teams are always throwing from the baseline. Another quirk is that all penalty kubbs are placed on the baseline. Throwing order must rotate each turn, so if player A, then B, then C throw the first time, their next turn would look like B, C, A and so on. This means it is important that all players be proficient in all phases of the game. As a final twist, the kings are replaced by miniature kings that are the same dimensions as a kubb.
For the Big Shooter Kubb Tournament, a 1 hour and 15 minute time limit per game was used. The tournament was kept small at just eight teams, and the format was a double elimination bracket.
After six rounds of one-game matches, there were two teams left—the undefeated Chaska Red Riders (Matt Braa, Jason Larson, Tyler Patterson) and Crimes and Missed8Meters (Gregg Jochimsen, Joe Pendleton, Brian Winistorfer). Since it’s double elimination, Crimes and Missed8Meters loss earlier in the day meant they would need to defeat Chaska two-straight games to clinch the championship.
The final match kicked off with Crimes and Missed8Meters drilling five kubbs and throwing four batons. Jochimsen took out the pile of five with ease in two batons, leaving his teammates with a couple back row throws, but neither could connect. Chaska Red Riders were able to add a couple on their first turn. Over the next few turns Chaska continued to make steady progress, but Crimes and Missed8Meters lived up to their name by only adding one from the baseline. Since there are no advantage lines in Big Shooter kubb, the couple of left-behind field kubbs from both teams didn’t prove fatal. About a half an hour into the match, Crimes and Missed8Meters threw a penalty kubb, but were able to take care of the now extra baseline, and add another to boot. There were now 12 kubbs in play. This turned out to be a difficult number as it took Chaska Red Riders all six batons to just barely clear, and Crimes and Missed8Meters with an unfortunate “ramp shot” at the end left behind three.
Chaska Red Riders took advantage of the smaller pile of kubbs, and Larson finished off their back row. Crimes and Missed8Meters had some work to do. They managed to clear but couldn’t connect on the back row. The Chaska boys now had just a pile of 13 kubbs and a king standing between them and the big prize. One of their five re-throws ended up a penalty kubb though, so a new kubb appeared on the baseline. Chaska Red Riders cleared the pile, and knocked down the penalty with their last stick. Crimes and Missed8Meters still had hope. Unfortunately they too drilled a penalty, but were not left with the batons to shoot at it.
On their next turn, Chaska Red Riders drilled 12 kubbs without penalties. This was shaping up to be a prime position to clinch it. The downed wood from the first three shots left Braa with a tough one, and he missed. Patterson still had two sticks, so the math was there. He stepped up and cleared the last kubb, lined up for the king and knocked it down. Chaska Red Riders took home the first Big Shooter title.
Immediately following the tournament, a winner-takes-all Straight Cash Homie mini-tournament with random draw teams was held. The four teams of three played a semi-final and a championship. The first semi-final match was over fairly quickly, with Gregg Jochimsen, Aaron McKie, and Adam Holtz taking the win. The other match, however, was an epic three-hour affair that went from sunglasses to spotlights. Eventually the team of Eric Anderson, Demian Moore, and Tyler Patterson pulled off a win and a trip to the final.
The final game started with a good back-and-forth pace. As the game progressed, the Anderson-Moore-Patterson squad started to struggle with clearing, which meant they weren’t getting any 8 meter shots. This seemed to be a recurring theme of the Big Shooter style of kubb. Eventually Team Jochimsen-McKie-Holtz were able to string together a couple of big turns that led to a big cash-prize win.
Photos courtesy of Christopher Jones.
- Chaska Red Riders (Matt Braa, Jason Larson, Tyler Patterson)
- Crimes and Missed8Meters (Gregg Jochimsen, Joe Pendleton, Brian Winistorfer)
- Dixie Kubbs (Andy Lancette, Ben Lancette, Brian Ramsey)
Straight Cash Homie
Watch Finals Match
Watch the archived live stream of the finals match on Facebook