A few tournaments have started painting the kubbs. The common way of painting them is half one color, and half a second. At the 2013 US Nationals the kubbs were painted blue and white for Saturday, and on Sunday the quarterfinals and on were played with red and white kubbs. As a player, there is an interesting dialog that happens when your raising the kubbs with the colors since it makes them easy to identify. “Put that one on white, and that one on blue.” which is a little clearer than “that one goes back, and this one forward”.
It is also common that you have kubbs that are very close on the sideline, raising questions about the kubb being in or out. At tournaments you’ll end up with a player from each team on their bellies eyeing out a kubb and if they can’t agree a referee or tournament director will come over and call it. Many times these kubbs seem in or out by mere millimeters.
I’ve also been curious when scoring games using the Planet Kubb notation and scoresheets about ways to better record the kubb throwing and raising process. There is so much that happens during the kubb raising phase that we aren’t able to record, and honestly I’m not sure we would ever be able to record easily.
Thinking through these things I decided to mark up one of my sets with what I’m referring to as competitive kubb markings.
I’ve put the same markings on all 4 sides. Each kubb is numbered 1 through 10, and each end has a letter A or B.
Additionally, lines have been placed directly in the center on both directions at the ends of the kubb.
The numbers and letters serve the same purpose as the paint color, but more descriptive. Instead of “put that one up on blue”, you can clearly say “put 3 up on A” and everyone knows what that means. This should make it easier to talk through complicated kubb groupings and discuss the strategy. The lines on the ends of the kubb clearly identify the center point and make it much easier to assess if a kubb is in or out.
We are going to play with this set for a while, and hopefully also have some folks play while I score the games and see what possibilities it might open up and how it helps or hinders game play.