A lawn game believed to be invented by the Vikings over 1,000 years ago
By Pat Payton
Mike Giesbrecht has a new venture these days, but it’s really an old game that the St. Marys man is trying to promote and sell.
The game–which originated in Sweden–is called Kubb, and it’s for all fitness levels and ages. Legend has it that Vikings created the game over 1,000 years ago, playing with the bones and even skulls of their enemies. It’s also been called ‘Ancient Viking Chess.’ Kubb means ‘block of wood’ in Norwegian.
“It’s a lawn game, and playing it on grass or sand is the best, but it could also be played indoors,” Giesbrecht says. “We played it at Christmas time at my grandparents in Kansas. I really liked the game, so I started looking around for wholesalers.”
The first step involves marking out the playing area/pitch. The game is played between two teams, with one to six players per team. “It suits any size of family,” he says.
How the game is played
Giesbrecht explains how the game is played. Five wooden Kubbs are set up on two baselines and spread out over five metres. The wooden batons are tossed underhand, and the throwing distance is eight metres.
“You have six batons that you alternate, taking turns throwing at your opponents’ kubbs,” he says. “You knock them down. Once you have them all knocked down, you knock down the King Kubb which is placed in the middle of the pitch. The first team to do so, wins the game.
“If you knock down the King Kubb anytime before the end, you automatically lose the game. It’s a little bit similar to billiards with the black ball. If you sink it early, you’re done.”
Before a game starts, a representative from each team assumes the position from behind their respective baselines and tosses a baton toward the King Kubb. The team whose baton falls closest to the king (without hitting it) gets to decide which team goes first.
Giesbrecht is currently selling the games at Express Sign Products, the business he works at on Industrial Road in St. Marys. “People can buy the game on our website (kingkubb.ca),” he says. “I have a pick-up option, and then there is no shipping charge.”
The Classic Kubb set costs $85, while the Tournament Kubb game set (a bigger version) is $135. For more information, contact Mike at 519-949-8881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.