Kubb – The Viking Game

Kubb is a game of skill. It symbolizes a battle between two groups who fight for their king. Kubb was invented around 1990 and is especially popular in Sweden and Norway but recently also in German speaking countries. Many also know it as the “Viking Game” or “Farmer’s Bowling”.

Each team has between one and six players who stand on opposite sides of the court. In the middle there is one big block of wood, the king. At both ends of the court there are five smaller blocks of wood, the Kubbs, between them around 1 metre of space.

One team (Team A) starts the game and can use the six pieces of wood they get in each round (the throw sticks). They try to knock over the Kubbs of Team B . Once they’ve thrown all their sticks Team B takes them from the court and also collects their fallen Kubbs. Now it is Team B’s turn. Firstly, they have to throw the fallen Kubbs into Team A’s half of the court – the general tactic here is to throw them near to the middle line and close to each other if there are more. When they thrust the throw sticks then, Team B first has to knock over the Kubbs inside the court. If they don’t manage to knock those over Team A can throw the sticks from a new position, at the standing Kubb in their half of the court.

New starting line for Team A

Once one team has knocked over all the Kubbs from the other team they can aim for the king in the middle. If the king falls they win the game. However, if someone knocks over the king in the middle of the game the team loses automatically.

Since 1995 on the Swedish island Gote there are the annual Kubb world championships and since 2011 the European championships take place in Berlin. If you ever get the chance to play this game, take it! It is a lot of fun even if you’ve never played it before.

– by Barbara P. –