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How To Play Kubb: Rules, Setup and Gameplay

Kubb is popularly known as a lawn game and it’s a member of the skittles family.

It’s an outdoor game that’s greatly associate with the ancient Swedish games.

And its nature makes it an ideal fun for the entire family, especially during the warmer months of the year.

However, like any other game, Kubb playing involves specific rules, which players should adhere to.

And they cover every possible arising scenario during playing sessions.

The rules are, however, known to be simple, so it shouldn’t be difficult to master.

Kubb rules and objective

The main focus of the Kubb is to successfully knock over wooden blocks.

The blocks are the ones referred to as the kubbs.

And the player has to knock all of their opponents’ blocks, before proceeding to eliminate the “King” to win the sport.

Players achieve this by strategically throwing wooden truncheons at them. It’s the best blend of bocce and bowling.

The player should, however, be careful not to knock off the king before eliminating other kubbs, as this will automatically make their opponents as winners.

Equipment Needed To Play Kubb

The apparatus of the game include;

  • 10- Small kubbs
  • 1-Larger Kubb (King)
  • 6-Throwing sticks/ batons.

Occasionally, players agree to include;

  • 6- Small stakes, to help in court marking.4 for the corners of the court and 2 for the centerline.
  • 1-tape measure to take court measurements, and
  • 1-long string (enough) for boundary creation.

There are no specific weight and size measurements for the King, truncheons, and Kubbs as all these depend on the Kubb set you purchase.

You should, therefore, conduct enough research to know which ones are best for new players in your location before purchasing.

This is extremely important, especially if you are practicing to play in a tournament.

How to Set Up Kubb

Before setting up, ensure that you have all the necessary equipment on site.

This will save you a lot of setting time as what you will need will be readily reachable.

Next, start by marking the playing field.

And given that there’s no restriction when it comes to the court size. So you can use any of the following common size standards;

  • 26*16 feet
  • 33*28 feet
  • 33*26 feet

But for professional Kubb Leagues, the 26*16 feet size is the most common.

We, however, don’t recommend it for beginners or children as it tends to make playing quite challenging.

Setting up should be easy as it takes only a few minutes. The common ground surface for this game is grass-based.

But, you can get adventurous with it and go for sandy, dirt or snowy fields.

You just have to ensure that the ground is as level as possible to allow easy throwing.

It should also be spacious enough to allow players to stretch as they throw their batons.

Afterward, measure the court and get both the centerline and corner stakes in place.

You can now tie the rope around the stakes for a more visible bounder line, though this is optional.

Next, strategically place position 5 kubbs on their ends and arrange them on the outer side of the shortest boundary lines, on both sides of the court.

The kubbs should be evenly set-out and the distance between them and the corner stakes should be at least equivalent to that of a single truncheon.

The 5 wooden blocks act as the baseline of each team. Now position the King in the middle section of the centerline.

Gameplay of Kubb: the Different Stages

When it comes to Kubb, there’s no limitation to the number of players on each side.

It all depends on the interested individuals and what they agree upon.

But it’s more enjoyable if each team has at least 2-3 players. You can also choose to play 1-1, just for fun.

To Start

There are various stages of this game. But before that, players have to get ready by selecting one player from each team to toss the truncheons as a way of deciding which team goes first.

The player representing the team vertically throws the wooden block towards the King.

The aim is to get as close as possible to the King, without knocking it down. The team whose participant gets the baton closest to the King goes first.

The first turn consists of tossing only 4 sticks of the 6 and that’s done right behind the baseline at the opposers’ baseline kubbs.

The Second and Subsequent Turns

Here each turn comprises of 4 phases.  The players throw the baton from the toss line (baseline), which is closest to their opponent’s baseline kubbs side.

When throwing, the focus of the player is to knock off as many kubbs as possible.

A few rules to be followed here include;

A player must toss underarm to allow the baton to rotate from one end to another and never sideways.

Both legs should be behind the baseline and shouldn’t go past the sidelines on their left or right.

A player can toss only once to give room for other teammates to throw.

Players on the team can throw in any order, so long as they all get to toss once per round.

At the end of the 1st turn, you must knock down all your opponent’s field kubbs before proceeding to the baseline kubbs and lastly the King.

A foul happens when a player knocks down the baseline kubb, before finishing on the field kubbs.

In this case, the teams reset the baseline kubbs and the playing team loses its throwing turn to their opponents.

Kubb Tossing

Once each player finishes throwing their 6 batons, all the players collect the knocked-down kubbs, throwing them towards their opponent’s side of the field.

The players can only throw a Kubb in two attempts, failure to which the other team reserves the right to place it anywhere on their side.

Kubb-Stage Setting

Teams receive kubbs thrown on their side and arrange them up inbound.

The end-result gives the kubb a hinged-like permanent appearance through the ground.

They become the field kubbs. The baton is now passed to the other side and the sport continues.

Game-Winning

In kubb playing, game-winning comes in two ways:

Your opponent mistakenly knocks down the king in between the game

Successfully knocking over the field kubbs (all), then the baseline kubbs and finally knocking over the kick.

Kubb Variations

There are other variations of the kubb game and the common ones include;

1: Sure Bet

Here, when tossing towards the king, the player is required to stand with their back facing the king.

And with their legs stretched apart, throw the baton from between their legs.

2: The 2 4 6 opening

This variation allows the first playing team to toss only 2 truncheons and the opposing team 4, during round 1.

However, in preceding turns, each team can now toss all the 6 batons.

3: The 4 6 Opening

This kubb variation allows the first players to throw only 4 batons and their opponents 6 in round one.

But like in the 2 4 6 variations, both teams get to toss all 6 batons in other turns.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Play Kubb

Why is the game called Kubb?

Because it’s played by knocking over the wooden blocks, which are referred to as kubb, by throwing batons at them.

Where does the game Kubb come from?

Its origin is traced way back to 1000 years ago, as a game enjoyed by the Vikings to pass time. It’s an ancient Swedish game.

Conclusion: Go Have fun

Kubb is a fun-filled game that can be played by 1 to several players.

So if it sounds like something you would try out, join a club or learn it with your friends and enjoy it.

You just have to ensure you don’t knock over the king between the turns, but only at the end.

Happy playing!

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John Martins
I'm a financial analyst, ping pong lover and an enthusiast father. I'm 30. I have one little boy. Whenever I'm not stuck in numbers, you'll find me in my game room chilling.

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