It was back in 2007 when I traveled to Sweden for an unrelated reason that I participated in the Kubb World Championships.
My main reason for being on the island of Gotland in Sweden was to participate in an archaeology course (Arkeodok). I had recently learned how to play Kubb and decided to register a team. I didn’t have a team at the time, but I made a “blank” team called “Arkeo Kubb”. I convinced my fellow archaeology students to come out and play with me after purchasing a Kubb set in Slite. We played until about 11:30pm for a few nights (it was starting to get dark then) and we finally figured the game out.
Our next step was to ask our professor for the Friday off so we could travel to Rone Goik in Southern Gotland. When I approached him it was easier than I thought. He was actually going to tell us that we had the day off as he was already registered on a team.
So we set off to the tournament on an overcast and wet Friday morning. We arrived around 8:15 and looked around. There were LOTS of kubb pitches set up. More than I could have imagined. We registered our team at the front booth and were pointed in the direction of our pitch to start the day. There would be 4 teams per pitch and you would play each team once (3 games). The top 2 teams would move on to the next round.
The set we played with was much larger than the set we had practiced with. I was then told that we had a kids kubb set and these were the tournament size. Oops. I still have the kids kubb set to this day. We lost our first game in great fashion. It was quick. We watched another match and then we got to play again. This time we lasted slightly longer and we were sure to point out when we did something wrong. If we stepped over a line, we apologized and disregarded the throw. If we inkasted a kubb incorrectly, we pointed it out and re-threw. We still lost.
Then our third and final match was against a team of elderly ladies. I swear, one of them had a walker. We were doing quite well and were actually close to winning the game when we kind of talked to each other and were wondering if we should throw the game. We really don’t want to defeat a group of little old ladies now do we?
“Just throw and win the game” was what we heard from the other side. The ladies knew we could win the game, they knew our quandary and they still told us to win the game. It would be our only win at the VM Kubb.
We had a good time even though we were quite cold and wet by the end of the day (our day ended shortly after 10:30). We grabbed a hot coffee in the refreshment tent, I bought a Kubb set to take home with me, and we headed off to explore Gotland before going back to our cabins. We did play back at the camp a few more times during our stay. We all had fun and we could say we participated in the Kubb World Championships.
When I looked at the website after getting home to Canada almost a month later, I saw our team there with our standings. I also saw something I did not understand. I used Google Translate and it became “Judges Fair Play Award”. ArkeoKubb was awarded this on the first day. I don’t know if that holds any status in the VM Kubb world, but as a Canadian, it means quite a bit to be told we were the fairest players. Unless Google Translate lied and it translated to “worst players”. I like the first one better.