Last year, I attended a summer party and someone brought along an interesting lawn game that I was not familiar with. It’s called Kubb (pronounced ‘koob’). It was fun and interesting, and it inspired me enough to get my own game so I could learn it and share it with my friends and family.

Originating from Sweden and dating back centuries, Kubb offers a unique blend of strategy, skill, and friendly competition. Kubb traces its roots back to ancient Scandinavian civilizations, believed to have been played by the Vikings over a thousand years ago. The game was originally played with wooden sticks or maybe even bones (a rumor), making it a rustic and simple form of entertainment. Over time, Kubb evolved into the modern game we know today, featuring wooden blocks and batons.

The Basics of Kubb

Kubb is a game played on a rectangular field, preferably on grass or sand, divided into two halves. Each team consists of 1-6 players, making it highly adaptable for various group sizes. I think that 3 on a team is ideal, but it’s flexible if there are others that want to join in a casual game. The objective is to knock down wooden blocks, known as “kubbs,” on the opposing team’s side and ultimately topple the “king” to secure victory.

The game starts with the teams standing behind their respective baselines and alternate turns throwing batons to knock down the kubbs on the opposing side. If successful, those knocked-down kubbs are then thrown onto the opponent’s side and serve as a defense for the king. The opposing team must successfully knock down these “field kubbs” before going for the “baseline kubbs” and finally an attempt to topple the king for the win.

The thrill of Kubb lies in its strategic nature. Players must carefully plan their throws, aiming for precision and accuracy to gain an advantage over their opponents. It combines elements of dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and tactical decision-making, creating an engaging experience for players of all skill levels. It can be a little frustrating though because it’s not easy! I think I’m getting better at it ? Games can go back and forth like a seesaw. If it seems your team is winning, be careful because things can and do turn around! There are some rules to learn so if I’m around I can teach you, otherwise there are plenty of YouTube videos to explain the game.

A Great Social Game

One of the most appealing aspects of Kubb is the sense of camaraderie it fosters. The game encourages friendly competition, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Whether you’re playing in a casual backyard setting or participating in organized tournaments, Kubb brings people together, promoting social interaction and creating lasting memories. Of course, here at Oakwood Club, we can play Kubb in the nude which adds to the enjoyment!

While Kubb has deep historical roots in Scandinavia, it’s becoming more popular around the world. Eau Claire WI is the “Kubb Capital of North America”. The annual U.S. National Kubb Championship tournament is held there.

Whether you’re a seasoned player or a complete beginner, Kubb promises hours of fun, laughter, and healthy competition. So, gather your friends, head to the nearest lawn or park, and experience the joy of Kubb for yourself! If you would like to play at Oakwood, you might see me out setting up the pitch, or look me up and we can see if we can get a game going!