Kubbchuck’s 2013 Minnesota Kubb Loppet Tournament Recap

The Kubbchucks goal for 2013 is to land in a significantly better place in the bracket than we did the previous year.

Back in the 2012 Loppet Kubb tournament, the Kubbchucks first game out of the round robin was with Fox Valley Kubb’s Kubb Snipers. They schooled us in two very quick games going on to win the entire tournament. Our tournament journey ended just 3 games into the single elimination Consolation bracket.

This year, our round robin grouping was just as tough. We opened with Team Knockerheads and while we lost both games of the match, we held on. After Team Knockerheads, we were introduced to McLovin’ a mixed doubles team loaded with talent. He had a solid 8 meter and her inkasting combined with an amazing short game won them the match. An unexpected loss for us. Our final round robin match and our sole win was with the 3 Kubbateers.

20130202-100003-14796

While we were hoping for a 2:1 record coming out of the round robin, we ended up 1:2. To regroup and ponder our fate again in the Consolation bracket, we took a walk through Uptown for a cup of coffee. It was amazing to see half a street covered in 6 inches of groomed snow and skiers skating where hours later cars would return. Something in my French Roast told me we still had a chance a the Championship bracket. I couldn’t quite articulate it – something about other teams with our same record and needing to fill slots in the Championship bracket. It was just a glimmer of hope that we could eek into the Championship bracket just as we did in the 2012 Nationals and 2012 Dallas tournaments.

On our way back to the pitches, we grabbed a bite from the Chef Shack truck and were about to wash it down with a Surly Furious when Eric Goplin turns on the bullhorn and declares,

“Pitch 1: Kubbchucks vs The BFF.”

I abruptly finished my first swallow of beer, and looked at Jamie – already waving me to the pitches. My coffee cup was right – we have another chance – Winner of this game goes onto the Championship bracket, the loser enters the Consolation bracket.

IMG_8710

The BFF is Jake Freeberg, Cole Vryens, and 4 others from the Minnesota Kubb crew. Fun players and great talent. The first game we went back and forth and eventually them on the ropes with 8 kubbs in play. With the match being best 2 out of 3, they decided to give us the win – prematurely slaying the king. Once I realized what happened, and why, I smiled. They felt more confident in being able to win the next two games, but I knew the Kubbchucks only needed one more win and their forfeit showed us we could take them. The second game played out much like the first, two evenly matched teams tossing kubbs. The game ran long, Eric had called time during The BFF’s turn. They inkast 7 with 2 of our baselines remaining and only one of theirs. They took their 6 throws and handed us the victory.

That’s when the bomb was dropped.

First game of the Championship bracket on Pitch 1: Kubbchucks vs Kubb Snipers.

I was stunned. My jaw dropped. Our time in the Championship bracket would be brief – best we could do was to make it interesting.

IMG_8711

I knew that our only chance against the Kubb Snipers was to not leave them an advantage line. If we did – they’d immediately convert it into a win. The first game, we held our own – each turn both teams would clean up the field and maybe pick up an additional base. Back and forth, back and forth. At one point I was inkasting 6 kubbs with 2 baseline kubbs remaining on both sides. I knew that our chances of cleaning up the field dramatically decreased once we got over 5 kubbs. After inkasting the 5 kubb into the left corner, I looked at the remaining kubb and I consulted Jim and Jamie on it’s placement. They shrugged. I looked at the pitch, I looked at the 5 kubbs in the corner, and dropped the kubb right in front of the middle baseline kubb.

Jim and Jamie readily cleaned up the 5 kubbs in the corner leaving the that lone sixth kubb for me and two batons. I took a deep breath, focused on the sixth kubb and threw – striking the sixth kubb and knocking it into the baseline behind it. With my final baton I took out the remaining baseline. This pulled us ahead, made it our game to lose, and a few short turns later we did. It was a nice clean game, with neither team leaving a single advantage line.

Going into the second game, I felt that if we played just as well again – we just might be able to take a win from them. Maybe not the match – but a single game. And we did – the second game was just as intense and well played on both sides as the first. Then it was the Kubbchucks turn, inkasting 9, with a lone baseline remaining on our side. If we could successfully get past this turn – we could win. Three by three, I inkast the kubbs – putting them in the left corner. A straggler here and there, nothing drastic. But I knew with each additional kubb in the basket were were tempting fate. But where should they go? There’s no remaining base kubbs to use as an anchor. Plus, the Kubb Snipers are accurate – from everywhere on the pitch. For them it matters less where the advantage line is than that there’s an advantage line. With 9 in the field, Jim and Jamie took care of 3 each. Unfortunately, some unlucky bounces left me 3 kubbs on either side of the wood pile from one another. There was no way I could get all 3. And I didn’t. I left an advantage line for the Kubb Snipers at mid-field. They immediately converted that into a win.

Our time in the Championship bracket of the 2013 Loppet Kubb tournament may have been brief but these 2 games with the Kubb Snipers was the strongest the Kubbchucks have ever played. These two games were why we needed to get to the Championship bracket. They completely made our Loppet experience.

Lake Calhoun Preview

A day earlier, it was a beautiful 40° day here on Lake Calhoun. But not this day. This day it was 0°F and the pitch conditions? Glare ice.

But the quality of a kubb game – like the quality of a football game – is inversely proportionate to the quality of the pitch conditions.

Notice Garrick’s inkasting still hit the only patch of snow on the entire lake. Boom.

On Saturday, when we return to Lake Calhoun for the Loppet Tournament there will be warmth and snow. Just to make the nubbs a little more comfortable.

20130129-214527.jpg

20130129-214604.jpg

20130129-214639.jpg

20130129-214701.jpg

Kubbchucks 2013 Tournament Schedule

In 2012, the Kubbchucks eeked into championship bracket after championship bracket with their unique game strategy: exhaust the other team.

Over the winter, the ‘chucks continued to hone this strategy and refine their overall game play. In addition, they’ve trained in some of most kubb-adverse conditions: 8″ of snow, glare ice, -10°F, and the low oxygen environment of the Rocky Mountains.

Are they ready for the 2013 tournaments?

Yes.

Are the 2013 tournaments ready for them?

Um, how about at least these four?

Cold and Icy Kubb Practice

photoThe ‘chucks hit the hard, icy snow last night around 8pm for several games of Kubb. We have a ramp up of practices in preparation for the Minnesota Kubb tournament! Did I mention it was cold? Served as a good gear test as well. I’m sort of hoping it’s just terribly cold on tournament day. Teams that aren’t dressed for it will rush and play poorly.

The ground was frozen, the snow was rough and hard. Big patches of slick ice. Overall terrible conditions. But we had our flag and spirit to drive some Kubbs down. Overall we were pleased. Garrick was landing Kubbs pretty much anywhere he wanted to put them. The hard snow wasn’t pushing back his drilling. The batons went for some crazy bounces when hitting hard packed snow or ice. Definitely need to keep them in the air, but sometimes a goofy bounce helped us.

photo-1

All in I expect the surface was worse than what we’ll be dealing with on tournament day. We’re gonna hit the ice a few more times before the big day so we can bring our A-game.

Kubb & Koffee 3 Recap

This morning I got up bright and early for Kubb & Koffee 3! Today’s Kubb & Koffee was a little different than the first two. We put the word out a lot broader and invited a lot of first time Kubb players. It was a true Friendly. But since this is Kubb & Koffee, the first thing I do is make my coffee. My trusty Chemex got me a delicious thermos of estate coffee to go.

I arrived at Central Park in St. Anthony Village at 7:10 am, shortly before sunrise. I got to watch the sun come up while I waited for enough light to hit the fields so I could stake out the pitches.

The sun started coming up at 7:20am and by 7:35am I was joined by Garrick and his cousin Dalton. We got two pitches setup using the awesome Des Moines Kubb QuickPitch (Thanks Dobbie!).

A couple hours later we had a nice sun warming things up and people keeping both pitches running all morning. It was a great time! If my count is right we had 14 people come by and throw some wood with us.

It was made even better when Tammy arrived with donuts from Wuollet Bakery!

Mazie and Tyler came along to enjoy some donuts and watch (and even play!) a little Kubb. Tammy played in as well and got a couple of games in on the pitch.

We wrapped up about 11:30a after 4 hours of great October Kubb. I gave Eric Goplin and Cole Vyren of Tad Kubbler a ride home and Eric proved that an adult male can actually fit in the back of a Mini Cooper!

This is likely our last Kubb & Koffee of 2012 and I think everyone had a great time! Next time I will be more clear though that people don’t have to show up at 7:30a, that is just when we start. I’m guessing a couple of folks didn’t come because they thought they had to be there right at 7:30a. Ooops!

Kubb on!

10 Reasons You Should Register for the 2013 Minnesota Kubb Loppet Tournament

The Kubbchucks are registered for the 2013 Minnesota Kubb Loppet Tournament, and you should too! Here are 10 reasons you should register now!

  1. The largest winter Kubb tournament in the world!
  2. This tournament starts the 2013 Kubb season!
  3. Learn the Minnesota Slide Inkastare technique. Drillers defeated by ice!
  4. Kubb is a Viking game. You think the Vikings were afraid of a little snow? Get out there!
  5. There are a ton of Twin Cities Kubb teams; this is your home tournament! Be there or people from Iowa and Wisconsin will take your spot!
  6. Expanded to 64 teams this year! Lets fill it up Kubb fanatics!
  7. Only Kubb tournament that has to use power drills to put hornpinnars in place.
  8. Your beer will not get warm in between turns.
  9. You might dethrone the Kubb Snipers, the 2012 winners!
  10. This is what your Sorel’s are for! See you on the ice!