2012 Photo: Becca Hodges blind-photography.com
Welcome to the U.S. National Kubb Championship rules webpage. The U.S. Championship is located in Eau Claire, WI, officially The Kubb Capital of North America. The U.S. Championship started in 2007 with 35 players. In 2013, we hosted 88 teams with a total of 310 players. The tournament is the U.S.'s National Championship and also the largest collection of recreational and backyard players. All skill levels and experience are welcome. We invite you to look around at the other pages on our website as well.
Kubb is an old Nordic game that some say the Vikings played. The game pieces include six batons, 10 kubbs, one king, and six marking stakes. Due to the strategy involved, the game's nickname is "Viking Chess". Regardless if the Vikings played the game or not, the modern birth of kubb was on the island of Gotland, Sweden, which holds the World Championship.
Our friends SkyMotion Media created this three minute "How To Play Kubb" video. It is the best video that explains the game. Enjoy.
The following is a quick description of the rules:
The corner stakes are placed so that a rectangle is formed, measuring 5m x 8m. The center stakes are placed in the middle of the sidelines. The king is placed upright in the center of the pitch, and five kubbs are placed on each baseline. The pitch is ready for play.
The teams determine which team throws first and which side each team will be on. Then, the game begins with the first team throwing the six batons from behind their baseline, attempting to knock down the kubbs on the opposite baseline. Batons may rotate when thrown and must travel in a vertical manner (no helicopters).
Once all the batons are thrown, the opposing team gathers any kubbs that were knocked down. That team throws them back across to the other half of the pitch (the opponent’s side of the field). Kubbs thrown back into play are called field kubbs, and are raised by the first team where they came to rest. If a kubb comes to rest outside of the field of play, the team is allowed to throw that kubb again, after all kubbs have been thrown. If that kubb comes to rest outside the field of play a second time, it becomes a punishment kubb, and the other team is allowed to place it wherever they would like within one baton length of the king or marking stakes. The second team then throws the six batons, first attempting to knock down any field kubbs, then the kubbs on the baseline, then the king.
If they are unable to knock down all of their kubbs and the king, then the first team picks up all knocked down kubbs, throws them into play as field kubbs, and then tries to knock them over with the batons. Play continues until the game ends. If at any time a team does not knock down all the field kubbs in their opponents half of the pitch, the other team is allowed to move up to the kubb closest to the center line and throw their batons from that new line. Kubbs and baton throws at the king are always thrown from the baseline.
The game is won by the team who knocks down all the kubbs in their opponents half of the field and on the baseline then knocks over the king. However, if a team knockes down the king prior to knocking down all the kubbs, then that team immediately loses the game. In tournament play, matches are often best-of-three games.
The U.S. Championship and most other tournaments play with the official U.S. National Kubb Championship Rules. The U.S. Championship rules are the same rules that are used at the World Championship, with a couple very slight differences. The rules document was created by a collaboration between the U.S. Championship and Des Moines Kubb Club. It is the most in-depth kubb rules document in the world. Some phases and situations in kubb can be complicated and potentially indefinable by any ruleset. If a situation is not covered in these rules, the decision shall be made in accordance with fairness, with decisions being influenced by the spirit of the game. Often a logical extension of the closest existing rule or the principles embodied in the rules will provide guidance for determining the resolution.
For tournaments, the below dimensions are used:
Pitch: 5m wide x 8m long.
One King: 8x8x25cm to 9x9x30cm
Ten kubbs: 7x7x15cm.
Six batons: diameter 4.4cm, length 30cm.
Four corner stakes and two mid-pitch stakes
For recreational play, game piece and pitch dimensions can vary, which is one of the great things about the game.
Inkasting Tips and Techniques
Pictures of strategically raising kubbs.
Eau Claire, WI U.S. National Kubb Championship usakubb.org