Kubb: What's That Game All About

a person holding a baseball bat on a field

It is believed that the game of Kubb is from Scandinavian origins and was also called “Viking Chess”. This outdoor game could be considered a mesh between bowling and horseshoes. It has grown in popularity since you can play it just about anywhere, anytime. Play it on the beach, on the front lawn, in the backyard, or in a parking lot. Any place that you can set up a rectangular court, which in Kubb language is called a pitch.

There strategies and tactical decisions to make while playing Kubb and it combines the need for brute force with a precision touch. Basically, the game objective is for a player to throw wooden batons, which are referred to as ‘kastpinnar’ at the wooden blocks, or Kubbs of the opposing teams with the intention of knocking them over. 

To play the game, kubbs are set up on both ends of the rectangular playing field. A larger kubb, which is referred to as the king, is placed in the center of the court. From region to region, the rules will vary, but the goal is the same: to knock over the opponent’s kubbs.

Once a team has knocked all of the opponent’s kubbs, they then need to knock the king kubb over for a win. During the game, tactical decisions are needed that make it harder for the opponent to knock over your kubb.

An Old Game That Came To Life

This game isn’t new, but it has a growing popularity with matches and tournaments around the world since it was re-introduced in the 1980s. The championship game of all is held in Sweden on the island of Gotland for Europeans. There is a world championship for Americans that is held each year in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

In the American Midwest, the game has become popular enough that schools are introducing the game in the P.E. classes. And the game is showing up all over the country at family picnics and parties.


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