Kubb players gather in Beloit for U.S. Kubb Open

Players from across the Midwest are competing in the tournament
Kubb is a lawn game that involves throwing wooden batons at blocks, called kubbs, in order to...
Kubb is a lawn game that involves throwing wooden batons at blocks, called kubbs, in order to knock them down.(NBC15)
Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 11:05 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Many people have played lawn games like horseshoes or bags. But what about kubb?

Kubb is a Scandinavian lawn game thought to have originated with the Vikings. Teams stand on opposing sides of a field, called a pitch. Players toss wooden batons at blocks called kubbs in order to knock them down. Ultimately, the goal is to knock down the king kubb, the largest wooden block in the center of the pitch.

Beloit is the site of the U.S. Kubb Open, held at Pohlman Field at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 14. This year, competitors are coming from across the Midwest to compete. For players who are new to the game, or just want to practice, Pohlman Field will also be open from 2-8 p.m. Friday. On Sunday, there will be a free one vs. one tournament.

In past years, the tournament has drawn players from 13 states, and even from other countries, according to U.S. Kubb Open Tournament Director Evan Fitzgerald. This year due to COVID, the tournament is a bit smaller.

“If you do want to play, we still are taking registration, it’s forty dollars a team, you can sign up on the Kubb United website,” he said. “But if you want to come out and just watch, you can see about 30 to 40 teams playing tomorrow [Saturday]. We’ll have the whole outfield filled with players and you’ll see everyone from young kids playing all the way up to elderly. It’s just a really good mix of people and a lot of fun.”

Fitzgerald said this tournament has the largest purse in the U.S., with the first place team winning approximately $300, in addition to other prizes and kubb sets for other teams.

“It’s a good opportunity for pretty much everybody to learn more about the game as well as hopeful come home with some hardware,” Fitzgerald said.

For Fitzgerald, part of the love of the game, is the love of the community that plays.

“It’s a great way to kind of bring your neighbors and community together and friends,” he said. “I know a lot of people when they’re camping they love to play. You’ll also find a very welcoming community and a lot of really genuine, great people.”

A kubb fun fact – one theory on the game’s origins goes back to the Vikings, who would use the femurs and skulls of their victims to play. The more likely theory is that they would use excess cuts of firewood.

To learn more about kubb or sign up for the tournament, click here.

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