EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. — After COVID-19 forced its cancellation last July, the U.S. National Kubb Championship was back and better than ever in 2021. A total of 122 teams entered the main tournament, which requires a minimum of three-person teams. However, the Eau Claire Soccer Park once again hosted three different tournaments over the three-day weekend.
The U.S. Junior National Kubb Championship was held on Friday morning, which has been the tradition since 2014.
2021 U.S. Junior National Kubb Championship Results
- Firehawks – Eau Claire, WI
- The Tigers- Eau Claire, WI
- Math Masters – Eau Claire, WI
- The Kings – Eau Claire, WI
After the Junior Championship finished up, the Chaksa Kubb Club took over the soccer park Friday afternoon to host the 2021 Kubb 1v1 World Championship. There was no 1v1 championship in 2020, but Ethan Forney (the 2019 winner) was back in the field looking to become a back-to-back champion. The other 31 entrants were looking to knock Forney off his perch, and the Chaska Kubb Club offered extra incentives to defeat former champions. Any player that defeated an ex-champion of the tournament received additional prizes.
The 32 competitors were entered into 4 person groups and earned points to see who advanced to the championship bracket. Players earned 3 points for a win, 2 points for leading, 1.5 points for a tie, and 1 point for trailing. All players played out all matches to determine all 32 places.
After all games were played, with the finals being live-streamed on Kubb On’s Facebook (until it was block in most countries for music copyright issues).
2021 Kubb 1 v 1 World Championship Results
The Main Event
On Saturday morning, the U.S. National Kubb Championship began day one of two to determine the 2021 national champion. The 122 teams were drawn into four team groups back on June 26, an event live-streamed on USA Kubb’s Facebook page.
The entire first day of the tournament was deciding seeds one to four in each group, and then those seedings were transferred over to the “Big Board” of the Championship Bracket. All 122 teams started this phase with a chance to become the national champion. As teams began losing in the first or second rounds of the Championship Bracket, they would drop into the Bronze or Silver Brackets. This allowed teams eliminated from contention to still play teams of similar skill levels and get a second chance to end the day on the podium with medals and/or trophies.
The top 16 teams in the country came back down to the soccer park on Sunday morning. They were put into groups of 4 teams representing their quarter of the remaining championship bracket. They played best-of-three game matches to determine who would win each quarter and move on to the semi-finals of the tournament, nicknamed, “The Cage.”
Results of each quarter below:
- Disorder (2-1)*
- The Beverly Drillbillies (2-1)*
- Branches with Wolves (1-2)
- Big Stick Slingers (1-2)
*= Teams had tied record and tied number of game wins. Next tiebreaker is a throw-off.
- Flux Capacitors (3-0)
- Tres Culos Tontos (1-2)
- Team Kubboom (1-2)
- Varangians (1-2)
- Science for the Win (2-1)**
- Kubb Squirrels (2-1)**
- Ragnarok (1-2)
- You Me And Spence (1-2)
**= Science for the Win advances on number of games won total of 5 over Kubb Squirrels with 4.
- Tad Kubbler (3-0)
- Kubbitz (2-1)
- Kubbsicles (1-2)
- Shinbuster (0-3)
Before the semi-finals could start, we had to break a tie in Quarter 1. Both Disorder and the Beverly Drillbillies were tied and had to go to a throw-off. In the throw-off, both teams threw in three kubbs, raised as they liked, and then had their six batons to clear the field and as many baseline kubbs as possible. After both teams had their turns, they were still tied as both teams only eliminated one baseline kubb.
This forced a sudden death throw-off. Disorder went first and sent Grant Scott to the baseline. He threw one baton and hit a baseline on the other side. Then the Beverly Drillbillies would have to select one team member to step up and that person had to hit a baseline or Disorder would advance to the cage. John Petterson was selected and came up to the baseline with the fate of his team on the line. Petterson has spent years coming in clutch on the pitches in Eau Claire, but this time, fortune was not in his favor. He would miss his 8-meter shot and the defending champions would eliminate Los Angeles Kubb Club’s premiere team and win Quarter 1.
In one semi-final, the defending champions, Disorder defeated the Flux Capacitors, two games to zero. The teams traded baselines back in forth and gradually worked up to eight kubbs in play. Flux would push Disorder to the brink, as the team had only one baseline kubb to eliminate (and the king) with three batons left. However, they would end 0-3 on 8-meter shots for the rest of that turn. Both teams would have chances to win the game on their next turns, but could not. In fact, Flux ended up leaving one field kubb standing, allowing an advantage line that Disorder would take and defeat Flux in game one. Disorder got out to a two baselines advantage in game two, but Flux would come back to tie the game. A few turns later, both Joe Pendelton and Scott would clear a baseline each, push Flux one step closer to elimination. Flux Capacitors would have another chance to come back and match Disorder, but was unable to clear any more baselines on this turn. Gregg Jochimsen then inkasted a great group of seven kubbs. He was a little disappointed to leave a single field kubb standing after his two blasts, but Pendelton would clear the last field kubb with his first baton. Scott then stepped up and cleared the last baseline with his first baton, and Pendelton killed the king to advance Disorder to the finals match.
In the other semi-final, Tad Kubbler defeated Science for the Win, two games to one. The teams would trade wins in games one and two. In both games, there was one team struggling at 8 meter shots. In game one, Science for the Win did not eliminate a baseline kubb. In game two, Tad Kubbler was only able to knock down one baseline. So that left a winner-take-all situation for game three. Tad Kubbler went 2-2 to start on their first turn. Science went cold from 8 meters, going 0-2 on their 4 baton round. Tad Kubbler was able to clear the baseline on their next turn eliminating the remaining three baseline kubbs. Science for the Win had a great turn with their backs up against the wall, where they were able to clear three of the five remaining baselines kubbs. Tad Kubbler left the door open to a comeback from Science, as on their next turn, when Tad was only able to clear the field kubbs and did not have a baton for the king. However, Science for the Win was not able to clear any more baselines on their next turn and Tad Kubbler would go on to the finals after closing out the game on their next turn.
In the third-place matchup, which was best of one game, Flux Capacitors defeated Science for the Win.
In the championship final, Disorder went on to defeat Tad Kubbler two games to zero. Tad Kubbler would start the final match slow on 8-meter shots. However, Disorder also started slower than they were accustomed to. All three players, Jochimsen, Scott, and Pendelton were needed to clear baseline kubbs in game one. Tad Kubbler would hit two baseline kubbs, but Scott and Pendelton would come through clutch when it mattered in game one. After Pendelton cleared the last field kubb with his first baton (the team’s fourth baton), that left two batons remaining (one for Scott and one for Pendelton). Scott would step up and eliminate the last baseline kubb, allowing Pendelton a shot at the king. Proving that everyone misses the king at some point, he missed the shot with the team’s last baton. In the end, it would not matter as Tad Kubbler was not able to clear any additional baseline kubbs on their next turn and Pendelton was able to kill the king on Disorder’s next turn.
In game two, both teams traded one baseline kubb early, until Disorder went four-for-five on 8 meter shots on their next turn. Jochimsen cleared two field kubbs with one baton and also hit an 8 meter shot with his second baton. Scott would go one-for-two on 8 meter shots, while Pendelton went two-for-two on 8 meter shots, clearing the baseline for Disorder. Tad Kubbler was only able to add one additional baseline kubb on their next turn, so Disorder found themselves seven field kubbs away from the National Championship. On the deciding turn, Jochimsen would clear all but two field kubbs on his teams first two blasts. Scott would take his first shot from cross-court, looking to take both kubbs out with one blast. He would get the first field kubb but leave one standing. He moved down the line to clear the last field kubb, however his baton ricocheted off another baton from a previous throw and miss the kubb altogether, leaving the one field kubb standing. Pendleton then stepped up, and did what he had done all day, come through in a clutch situation. He cleared the last field kubb with his first baton and then slayed the king with his second baton to win the 2021 U.S. National Kubb Championship for Disorder.
For Gregg Jochimsen (Eau Claire, Wisc.), the win marks five straight National Championships. The win is also the fifth National Championship for Grant Scott (Des Moines, Iowa). He now has four championships with Gregg Jochimsen and previously won an additional championship in 2014. The third member of Disorder is Joe Pendleton (White Bear Lake, Minn.). The victory is the first National Championship for Pendelton, avenging a second-place finish in 2011.
Jochimsen was awarded Basta Inkastre for the second straight year, awarded to the player who is deemed the best driller (AKA Thrower of the Kubbs) in the tournament.
The semi-finals and finals were streamed on Kubb On’s Facebook page, but it did run into several issues. Music copyright issues, spotty network coverage, and glitchy Facebook Live issues have caused some complications for fans wanting to watch live or go back and watch the action in the days after the tournament. Thank you for your patience as we work through those issues. John Oman did record several matches and has posted them on his YouTube channel.
Photos courtesy of U.S. National Kubb Championship
- Disorder (Gregg Jochimsen, Joe Pendelton, Grant Scott) Eau Claire, WI; Des Moines, IA; White Bear Lake, MN
- Tad Kubbler (Ethan Forney, Eric Goplin, Cole Vrÿens) Minneapolis, MN
- Flux Capacitors (Nick Brill, Joe Dekan, John Ellingsen) Eau Claire, WI
- Science For The Win (Steve Dolan, Christopher Jones, Demian Moore) Minneapolis; St. Paul, MN
- Kubbin’ For A Brewsin (Eau Claire, Eleva, WI / Minneapolis, MN)
- Das Kubb (Huntersville, Gastonia, NC / North east, MD)
- Beer Flavored Nipples (St, Paul, MN)
- VallStars (Eau Claire, WI)
- Chaska Red (Chaska, Norwood Young America, MN / Amery, WI)
- Revenge Of The Elephante (Minneapolis, MN)
- Classy On The Grassy (Eau Claire, WI)
- The Turtles (Duluth, MN)