I have had the opportunity to play in two in-person kubb tournaments since the pandemic started. These tournaments were both new to the schedule this year, and were very different formats. It got me thinking about what I miss most about kubb tournaments in general. Our club (Chaska Kubb Club) started a “Top Five” list about seven years ago, and we try to put together a list of good things that happen. I’m happy that other people or clubs have taken that on as well. Usually, there would be some detailed discussion that goes into the list, but for now I’ll just get the list going.
So here is my list:
1. Road tripping and planning
This probably the best part of kubb. I am fortunate enough to have a great group of guys that love kubb. During our typical season we get together once a week or more leading up to a tournament. I usually have a checklist for people to remember what to pack. Someone always forgets their chair. Then the car ride is dissecting kubb to the granular level, putting it back together and then repeat the process on the way home.
2. The people
As an extrovert (most of the time), I love this game for the ability to talk to your opponents. In our last semi-final game against a very formidable opponent and knowing strengths and weaknesses you were really cheering for the team to do well. I must have cheered too much because they had a few unbelievable shots and beat us 🙂 On the other end of the spectrum, I was able to bring two friends to their first tournament and they loved it. They were chit-chatting with regulars, asking questions, and genuinely having a good time meeting new people.
3. The energy and fun around the game from the newbies to the veterans
I love playing games. Maybe it is the joy of all people whether they win or lose and the competition aspect of it. Maybe it is having a tough job trying to build relationships (which I love by the way) and never knowing if I’m making an impact, but in kubb, we build relationships with people too. This could be for the day or over years like the people I have played against numerous times.
4. The adrenaline rush after a big shot—or watching others hit that big shot
Game three, with three loose field kubbs scattered in debris, an 8 meter, the king and you have three batons left. If you leave a line, it could be game over. If you don’t hit the 8 meter, it could be game over. It is your first tournament and you have never hit a double before… you hit a triple. Which person jumps the highest?
5. Ringing my cowbells and my squeaky toy
I was standing next to Eric Anderson watching the semi-finals of the Kubbing to Kick Cancer Tournament a few years ago. Almost all of the teams had gone home (probably because it was either raining or 20 plus mile per hour winds). The diehard fans were in their chairs watching the good battles. It was golf quiet. Eric said something along the lines of, “Why is it so quiet? We should be shouting and cheering for these amazing teams.” It was right then and there I started cheering as loud as I could with a Rick Flair style “WHOOOOO” for every shot that was a double or 8 meter hit. Fast forward a few years, and bells, squeakers, and an occasional whistle are all part of my repertoire at tournaments to increase the fun/noise level. During previous mentioned semi-finals, my bell was taken over by a few teams that were brand new and enjoying using it during their consolation bracket matches. I guess Dan and Matt were lucky the bell was out of reach.
Do you have a top five list you’d like to share? Contact Kubb On and share it with the kubb world!