Lawn game kubb to have 1st Illinois championship in Batavia

  • Kubb has been called "Viking chess" because of the strategy involved. Here, Barbara Johnson teaches kids how to play kubb last year in Yorkville.

    Kubb has been called "Viking chess" because of the strategy involved. Here, Barbara Johnson teaches kids how to play kubb last year in Yorkville. Courtesy of Al Benson

 
 
Updated 8/28/2019 6:20 AM

A Scandinavian lawn game that's similar to a cross between bowling and horseshoes will have its first Illinois championship Saturday in Batavia.

The Energy City Kubb Club is hosting the event at Engstrom Family Park, Main Street and Millview Drive. Spectators are welcome, as the club wants more people to take up the leisurely sport.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The club expects 20 to 30 teams of two to six players each to toss kastpinnars (batons) at kubbs (blocks), on a pitch. A larger wooden block, called a king, is placed in the middle. The teams toss their kubbs for placement, then toss batons to knock down the opponents' kubbs, then go after the king. The Energy City Kubb Club has been hosting a league this summer at the Moose Lodge in Batavia.

The game has been called "Viking chess," for the strategy involved. Legend has it Vikings invented the game as post-battle entertainment, using their enemies' skulls for kubbs and femurs for batons.

Saturday's tournament will feature "Klassic" format, with six qualifying rounds of single games, each with a 25-minute limit. Championship rounds will be best of three, with no time limit. It is expected to last until about 3 p.m.

There are men's, women's and mixed teams.

Practice starts at 8 a.m.; play will start at 9:30 a.m. It will go on rain or shine, but may be delayed if there is severe weather.

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