Welcome to the ultimate guide to the exhilarating game of Kubb! Whether you’re a seasoned player looking to brush up on your skills or a curious newcomer eager to dive into this engaging outdoor activity, we got you covered. In this article, we will take you on a journey through the origins and history of Kubb. We will provide a step-by-step breakdown of the game’s rules and regulations. Explore strategic approaches to enhance your gameplay, and offer valuable tips and tricks to dominate the Kubb battlefield. Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of Kubb and discover why it has captivated players of all ages and skill levels. Let’s jump right in and unlock the secrets of this exciting lawn game!
Kubb is a very popular outdoor game that can be played on a lawn, beach, parking lot, or anywhere you can create a rectangular court also called also known as a pitch. The great thing about Kubb is that it can involve both brute force and precise touch, along with many tactical decisions and strategies. Kubb’s objective is simple: to knock over wooden blocks by throwing wooden batons at them. The exact rules of Kubb can vary from region to region, but the ultimate goal is to knock over all of the opponent’s kubbs. When you have accomplished this you must knock over the king to win.
The kubb game has grown from ancient origins into a modern game with international interest. The interest grows with consistent large tournaments held all over the world. The modern version of Kubb started in the 1980s when the first sets were commercially made. The sets have since exploded in popularity all over the world. The world championship is held on the island of Gotland, Sweden while the USA championship is held in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The game is very popular in the Midwest of the USA.
Many schools are now even playing kubb in their physical education classes. It is a great game to play for the whole family and in groups of friends. The game is said to have Scandinavian origins and is also nicknamed ‘Viking Chess’. In this article, we will take a look at how to set up your own game of Kubb, the rules, strategies, and some great Kubb sets to get you started playing this exciting game.
How to Play Kubb
The game is typically played in an open area or playing field, most commonly on a sandy beach, lawn game, or backyard game. The first thing you need to do when playing Kubb is set up your playing field by marking out a rectangle with field marking pins, stakes, or even rocks at the corners and two markers at the imaginary line running through the center of the court. The most common court size used is a 26 x 16-foot rectangle.
This is the size of the court typically used in official Kubb tournaments. If you are a beginner or playing with children it is suggested to start smaller and work your way up in size as you get better. The opposing ends of the court are called the baselines with an imaginary line running through the middle.
There are 3 different types of wooden pieces used in gameplay including 10 kubbs measuring 15 cm tall and 7 cm square on the end, a king measuring 30 cm tall and 9 cm square on the end, and 6 batons that are 30 cm long and 4.4 cm in diameter. Most commercially made kubb sets will include all of these pieces along with 6 field marking pins, a carrying bag, and rules. Each team will need to take 5 kubbs. The same king is used for both teams.
Kubb Game Setup
Set your 5 kubbs up on the baseline placed at regular intervals from one end of the baseline to the other. The blocks in this starting position are called baseline kubbs. The king is placed directly on the imaginary line in the middle of the court.
The game is typically played with 2 teams consisting of 1 or 2 players but can be played with teams up to 6. The wooden batons or ‘kastpinnar’ must always be thrown underhanded and in a vertical rotation. You cannot spin the batons horizontally like a helicopter. To determine which team throws first a single baton is tossed as close as possible to the king in the center of the court without hitting it. The team whose baton lands the closest throws first. Going first can give you a great advantage.
The objective at the standing teams’ baseline is for the opposing team’s five Kubbs to be toppled with an underhanded toss of the six Kastpinnar and then get the Kung to be knocked which is placed in the center of the field. Another twist of the above variation is: The opposing team may attack the Kung and win the game if they can successfully topple the Kung when the throwing team has successfully toppled all of the Kubbs but did not topple the Kung, still loses the game.
Kubb Game Play
Now that the court is all set up we are ready to start playing. There are two phases to each turn. Team one stands behind the baseline and throws its batons at the kubbs placed on the opposite baseline. Any kubbs knocked down are then tossed by team two back onto the opponent’s half of the court. Team one stands the kubbs up where they land and these are now referred to as ‘field kubbs’.
If a kubb is tossed out of bounds you get one more attempt. If it is thrown out of bounds again the opposing team can place the kubb anywhere on their side of the field as long as it is one baton length from the king or corners. The main objective is to toss the field kubbs so they are easy to knock down on the next turns.
Play now changes sides and team two tosses their batons. Before team two is allowed to toss their batons at the opponent’s baseline kubbs they must first knock down all the field kubbs from the previous turn. If a baseline kubb is knocked down before all the field kubbs it does not count and is put back in place. After team two is done throwing their batons, team one picks up all kubbs that are knocked over (baseline and field kubbs).
Tosses them in the same manner onto the opposite half of the field. If team two left any field kubbs still standing during their turn, team one gets to toss their batons from an imaginary line running parallel from the kubb closest to the center line.
You can see it is very important to not leave any field kubbs standing close to the center line or the other team will have an easy time throwing so close to the field kubbs they are trying to knock down on the next turn. Play continues in this manner until one team has knocked down all the field and baseline kubbs. They now attempt to knock down the king for the win with any remaining batons. All throws at the king must be from behind the baseline of the court.
If the king is knocked down at any time before all kubbs are knocked down the other team wins. Another version of the rules allows for one ‘resurrection king.’ In this version the king is stood back up but the team loses the rest of its turn. Winners are typically determined by playing the best out of 3.
As you can see it is possible for these games to go on for a long time. If you are a beginner or playing with children there are some variants in the rules that will help shorten the game and make it a bit easier. You can choose to remove any kubb from the field of play that has been knocked over twice.
Another idea is allowing field kubbs that hit each when tossed to be placed on top of each other like a tower. This makes it much easier to knock down all the field kubbs in fewer throws. The more you play you will develop your own strategies and ideas to improve your chances of winning at Kubb.
Kubb Common Mistakes and Misconceptions
While Kubb is a thrilling game that combines skill and strategy, there are a few common mistakes and misconceptions that players often encounter. One common mistake is underestimating the importance of accurate throwing techniques. A misjudged or imprecise throw can easily lead to missed targets and wasted opportunities. Additionally, some players mistakenly believe that force is the key to victory, leading them to focus solely on powerful throws rather than considering the strategic aspects of the game. Another misconception is assuming that Kubb is a game of luck rather than skill. In reality, successful Kubb players employ careful planning, precise calculations, and strategic positioning to outwit their opponents. By addressing these misconceptions and avoiding common pitfalls, players can elevate their Kubb game and enjoy a more rewarding and competitive experience.
You must often think in strategic defensive terms when throwing the kubbs onto the opposite field. If you attempt to throw the kubbs close to the center line but fail to knock them all over when tossing your batons, the other team has a very easy time knocking over all the kubbs because of the temporary throwing line so close to the center line. Another idea is throwing the kubbs deeper into the opponent’s territory.
These will be harder for you to knock over, but do not offer the opposing team great field position when it is their turn to throw the batons. Grouping the kubbs close together allows for a greater chance of knocking multiple kubbs down with one throw, or even missing your intended target and knocking down another kubb.
There are many techniques for throwing the batons. Some people use a 180-degree spring while other players use a full 360-degree rotation. Perfecting a certain throwing style allows you to become very accurate. Another technique is throwing the baton with enough force that knocks over multiple kubbs by bouncing off the first and into another.
Kubbs must be thrown underhanded like the batons, but you are allowed to spin them in any direction you, please. Adding a directional spin to the kubbs is also known as drilling. This is extremely useful for placing the cubs in very precise areas.
When the opposing team throws a kubb out of bounds two times it is called a penalty kubb. A penalty kubb will be placed wherever you want. Setting it as close as possible to the king is a great idea. This strategy worries the other team about potentially knocking the king over and losing.
The serious players have some very unique strategies for improving their play. Many players like to play barefoot or with shoes that have no soles because they say feeling the ground is very important. Some people even practice juggling the batons to perfect the spin when tossing the baton in gameplay. This technique improves the rotation and proper release of the baton.
Now that we have all the basics covered let’s take a look at some great Kubb sets available to purchase so you can get started playing. We will cover all levels of play from beginner to advanced tournament play. These well-made Kubb sets will take your outdoor recreation events like birthday parties, BBQs, camping, and more to new levels of fun!
Kubb Official U.S. Tournament Set
Kubb Official U.S. Tournament Size Kubbspel Classic
- STURDY REINFORCED BAG: Our Kubbspel Classic includes a specially designed carry bag with a reinforced bottom and handles with a drawstring closure for easy trans
- SUPERIOR CRAFTSMANSHIP MADE IN EUROPE: Kubbspel Classic Kubb Games are made in Europe with strict attention to detail, the highest quality, and durability.
- ECO-FRIENDLY SOLID AUSTRIAN HARDWOOD: Our Beechwood is sourced in Austria using sustainable practices to protect and respect the environment. The longevity of this premium game also lends to its environmental friendliness.
The Kubb Official U.S. Tournament Size Kubbspel Classic Blue King proudly made in Italy, is a premium choice for avid Kubb enthusiasts and competitive players. Weighing in at a substantial 19.8 lbs, this set offers sturdy and durable construction, ensuring it can withstand countless intense matches and outdoor conditions. The classic blue king, a centerpiece of the game, adds a touch of elegance and distinction to every Kubb battlefield. With its regulation of U.S. tournament size, this set meets the official standards, making it perfect for those seeking an authentic and professional Kubb experience. Whether you’re preparing for a high-stakes tournament or simply want to enjoy the game at its finest, the Kubb Official U.S. Tournament Size Kubbspel Classic Blue King is a reliable companion that combines quality craftsmanship with the thrill of competitive gameplay.
Get Out! Kubb Game Set 21 Piece
Get Out! Kubb Lawn Game Set 21 Piece Yard Toss Fun
- Durable: Playing pieces are made of solid pine wood; Weatherproof construction for indoor and outdoor use.
- Suitable for Anywhere: Can be played on grass, sand, concrete, snow, or ice; Perfect for family reunions, tailgates, barbecues, birthday parties, or any outdoor event for hours of fun
- Fun for the Whole Family: The Get Out! Kubb Game Set is a Swedish/Finnish tossing lawn game for casual/beginner players from kids to adults; Up to 12 players
The “Get Out! Kubb Game Set 21-Piece Yard Toss Fun – The Viking Lawn Game” is an exciting outdoor activity that brings a touch of Viking culture to your backyard. This 21-piece game set is designed for both children and adults, providing endless hours of entertainment and friendly competition. Kubb, also known as “The Viking Lawn Game,” involves strategic throwing and knocking over wooden blocks, with the goal of toppling the King block to claim victory. Crafted from durable and sustainable hardwood, this game set is built to withstand countless matches and withstand elements. Whether you’re hosting a family gathering, a picnic in the park, or a backyard barbecue, the “Get Out! Kubb Game Set” is sure to be a hit, fostering camaraderie, skill-building, and a whole lot of fun. Get ready to channel your inner Viking and immerse yourself in this thrilling outdoor game.
Yard Games Kubb Premium Size
Yard Games Kubb Premium Size Outdoor Tossing Game with Carrying Case,…
- This game is the perfect team-building experience that includes strategy and skill and will provide hours of fun with friends and family.
- Premium Size includes 10 Kubb Blocks (6″ x 2.25″ x 2.25″), 6 Dowels (12″ x 1.5″ dia.), 1 King (12″ x 3″ x 3″), and 4 corner stakes to mark the field of play
- Includes a high-strength, durable nylon carrying case for easy storage and transport. Perfect to take to parties, BBQs, camping, or just a nice day in the sun
Kubb Tournaments or Events
Kubb has gained significant popularity worldwide, leading to the organization of various tournaments and events for enthusiasts to participate in. Many countries, particularly those with a strong Kubb community, host local, regional, and national tournaments. Additionally, there are international Kubb championships that attract players from around the globe. They showcase their skills and compete for prestigious titles. Some well-known tournaments include the U.S. National Kubb Championship, the World Kubb Championship held in Sweden, and the European Kubb Championship.
These events provide a platform for Kubb enthusiasts to connect, compete, and celebrate the game they love. Participating in these tournaments allows players to test their abilities against formidable opponents. It also fosters a sense of community and camaraderie among Kubb players from different backgrounds. These tournaments and events offer an exciting opportunity to be a part of the thriving global Kubb community.
We hope that this article has given you valuable insights into the world of Kubb. From its fascinating history to the intricacies of the gameplay. Armed with a solid understanding of the rules, equipment, and strategies, you are equipped to embark on your Kubb adventures. Whether you’re playing with friends and family or participating in tournaments, embrace the spirit of fun and friendly competition. So gather your team, set up the playing field, and let the strategic battles commence! May your throws be accurate, your tactics be sharp, and your enjoyment of the game be boundless. Here’s to many memorable moments and victories in the wonderful world of Kubb!