Monday, December 19, 2011

Fun with Kubb

My family is still savoring our Thanksgiving trip to Washington DC.  We had such a great time that I'm actually going to post a picture of myself on the internet.  

Look!  There's me with the original Kermit the Frog and proto Kermit peeking over his shoulder.  I don't gush often but . . . Stiching!  I could see Jim Henson's stitching on Kermit's froggy little fingers!   

We carried a lot home with us from this trip: I'm slowly working my way through the Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook, my son wants to be an astrophysicist, my daughter discovered minerals and geology, my husband has tons of fuel for his designing hobby and we have Kubb in our lives.  

Get ready.  I'm going to gush again.  

Kubb is the best lawn game ever!  We saw a group of friends on the Mall one evening playing a game with blocks of wood.  They looked so happy and relaxed that we had to ask what they were playing.  

Kubb is a Swedish mix between lawn bowling and horse shoes.  We got home, looked up the rules and made our own set.  The rules are hard to explain so I've posted a video link.  It's simple yet strategic.

I made a few minor changes to the specs in oder to make our first set out of scraps from the garage.  Within three hours we were hooked on Kubb. 

Each kubb set has 6 batons.  Players throw these 12" long 2" in diameter pieces of hardwood at the Kubbs and the King.  I strayed from tradition and made our batons out of pine 2"x4"s split down the middle.  We have small children playing with our kubb set and I didn't really want to arm them with a chunk of oak.  Plus, using what was in the garage spared me a run to Home Depot.  These batons worked fine, but make sure you have sanded and waxed them really well before playing.  Splinters are a buzz kill. 

The standard King is 4"x4"x12".  I used a scrap of pressure treated 4"x4" rounded over a bit to make it pretty.  The king sits in the middle of the field.  It's just like the 8 ball.  If you accidentally knock it over you lose the game.  

Kubb's are towers.  They are supposed to be 2.75"x2.75"x5.9".  Most instructions online tell you to make them out of 4"x4"s. I didn't want to do this for two reasons.  First, I hate working with freshly purchased pressure treated wood.  Its so wet and chemically.  Second, I didn't feel like taking the riving knives and guard off the table saw.  Sloth or safety, I'll let you choose.  

I made our 10 kubbs out of 2"x4"s cut down to 3"x6" pieces then glued together.  For strength and a bit of asethetics I pegged them with 3/8" oak dowels.  

Each team gets 5 kubbs.  The kubbs are set up evenly along the opposite baselines about 5 paces from the king.  The goal is to knock over the kubbs.  When Team A knocks over one of Team B's baseline kubbs, Team B gets to pick the fallen kubb up and throw it into the field.  It is now a field kubb.  

Team B must knock this field kubb over before they can attempt to knock over any of Team A's baseline kubbs.  This is where the strategy of placing field kubbs comes in to play.  If Team B fails to knock over a field kubb then Team A gets to throw from that field kubb during their next turn.  Advantage Team A.  

Once a field kubb is knocked over, it is removed from play.  When a team has cleared all five kubbs from their opponents baseline, they may shoot for the king.  

Sorry to mix building instructions with rules of play.  Just watch the video.  From what we have read, part of the art of Kubb is the arguing.  Each house has their own rules.  There are tons of videos and descriptions online.  Here are two good ones to start with.  

Here is This Old House's video on Kubb:

How to Play Kubb:

Enjoy and if any of you receive a heavy Christmas present from my family, you know what you got.


LAS Pottery said...

Great post and links!

Kristen said...

Come over and play some kubb!