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Kubb

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Kubb is a lawn game where the objective is to knock over wooden blocks (kubbs) by throwing wooden batons at them. Play takes place on a small rectangular playing field. The number of players can vary between 2 and 12 people. 1 against 1 or 6 against 6. The duration of the game depends on the throwing skills of the participants. It can end within a minute if the king is accidentally knocked over, or it can take hours to knock over all the kubbs.

The word "kubb" means "wood block" in the Gotlands dialect of Swedish. It has been played since the early twentieth century and is said to originate from the island of Gotland where it was supposedly invented by the Vikings. However, the Gotlanders say that this is not so.

Game pieces

  • Ten kubbs, rectangular wooden blocks 10-15 cm tall and 5-7 cm square on the end.
  • One king, a larger wooden piece 25-30 cm tall and 7-9 cm square on the end, sometimes adorned with a crown design on the top.
  • Six batons, 25-30 cm long and 2.5–4.4 cm in diameter.
  • Six field marking pins, four to designate the corners of the pitch, and two to mark the centreline (though the last two are often missing).

Game setup

Kubb is played on a rectangular pitch 5 metres by 8 metres. Corner field marking pins are placed so that a rectangle is formed. The center field marking pins are placed in the middle of the sidelines (long edges of the rectangle), which divides the pitch into two-halves. The king is placed in the center of the pitch, and the kubbs are placed on the baselines (short edges of the rectangle), five kubbs on each side equidistant from each other. Kubbs starting the game on the baseline are referred to as "base kubbs".

Course of play

Kubb is played between two teams. Team A throws the six batons from their baseline, at their opponent's lined-up baseline kubbs. Throws must be under-handed. Kubbs that were knocked over by team A are then thrown by team B onto team A's half of the pitch and stood on end. These newly thrown kubbs are called "field kubbs". Team B throws the six batons at team A's kubbs, first knocking over any standing field kubbs, and then the base kubbs. When a team is unable to knock over all field kubbs before their turn is over, the kubb closest to the centerline now represents the opposite team's baseline, and throwers may step up to that line to throw at their opponent's kubbs.

End of the game

Play continues until a team is able to knock over all kubbs on the other team's side. That team may now attempt to win the game by knocking over the king. A team that accidentally knocks over the king before knocking over all kubbs on the other team's side, immediately loses the game.

Variations

  • To make the game more accessible to small children you can reduce the size of the playing field, or allow them to throw from the centerline.
  • To shorten the duration of the game, you can reduce the number of base kubbs.
  • To make the end of the game even more exciting, you can include the requirement to hit the king with your back to the playing field, while throwing the baton through the legs.

Sources and references

Sources and references:
  • Kubb on nl.scoutwiki.org
  • “Kubb” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Jun. 2021, [1].
  • Kubb game rules by Kubb World