Road to Nationals

Hi, I’m Bryan. This is a big year for me. I’ve been playing more Kubb than ever before, honing in on my specialties and improving my skill set. I have definitely seen growth in my game these past few months. My incasting ability is much better than before, and I have a decent long shot. I am also better at two-fers and triple shots.

I get in practice while teaching Kubb to newcomers at the 2015 Relay For Life in Monroe, MI
I got in some practice while teaching Kubb to newcomers at the 2015 Relay For Life in Monroe, MI

Those countless hours of practice will be put to use this weekend. I’ll be competing in the U.S. Kubb Nationals with my team The Settlers of Baton. Nationals will be my first major tournament. While I am a little nervous about major competition, I’m confident this will be a fantastic event. I can’t wait to play against other teams and learn more about this awesome game. When my teammates brought back stories of last year’s tournament, I was determined to make it to the 2015 Nationals. Everything I’ve heard about this event sounds nothing short of amazing; the friendly teams, skilled competition, and networking with generations of Kubb enthusiasts all sounds exciting.

Perhaps what I’m most looking forward to is meeting more people who are crazy for Kubb. Much of this past few months I have been spreading the game of Kubb to newcomers every chance I get. I set up at local events, parks, and backyard parties, and teach the game to anyone and everyone who is curious to learn. Teaching other people about Kubb is something in which I take great pride. If there’s one thing I hope to bring back from Nationals, it’s new knowledge of Kubb that I can pass on to others (of course winning a title would be nice too!).

Kids have a blast learning Kubb at the 2015 Relay For Life in Monroe, MI
These kids had a blast learning Kubb at the 2015 Relay For Life in Monroe, MI

2015 U.S. Nationals Live Team Draw

I recently relocated from Kalamazoo to Minneapolis. I still consider myself part of Kalamazoo Kubb, and I’m still playing (and hope to continue playing) tournaments with fellow Kalamazoo Kubbers. Basically I’m the Minneapolis chapter of Kalamazoo Kubb now, or at least that’s what USA Kubb‘s Eric Anderson called me last weekend.

One of the nice things about moving to the Twin Cities is the proximity to so many Kubb events. That long seven and a half hour drive to Eau Claire is shortened to an hour and a half now. That’s why I was able to head there this past Saturday for the annual live team draw. This is an event held at Lazy Monk Brewing (a great Eau Claire brewery I would highly encourage you to check out). Many people of the Kubb community come together to watch this year’s groups get put together. There is quite literally a bowl of team names being selected and seeded into groups on a big board. You can even tune in live online and be treated to various interviews and discussions led by Eric Anderson.

I knew that since I was close enough now, I wanted to check it out in person this year. My wife, Abby, and I made the relatively short drive east and settled in with a beer for some good conversation with fellow Kubb fans and to find out where my team was going to end up this year. As the “show” got underway I realized it was a little tough to hear Eric over the crowd so I moved in closer. He saw me and motioned for me to join him at the webcam. Before I knew it, I was having and interview about Kalamazoo Kubb and my nationals team, The Settlers of Baton. It was a lot of fun. Abby and I even got to draw a few teams out of the bowl. To top it off, I got a text shortly after from fellow Kalamazoo Kubber, Jesse Fraim, who was just as excited to watch me online as I was to be there.

Christopher Jones and Eric Anderson talking about Kalamazoo Kubb at the 2015 U.S. National Team Live Draw.

The Kubb community never ceases to amaze me. It’s such a great group of people from all over, from all kinds of backgrounds, coming together for this great game. Kubb really does unite people.

I had a great time at the live draw, but the main event is really next weekend’s national tournament. I can’t wait!

2014 in Review

Well it’s 2015 and that means it’s time to take a look back at the past year. A lot happened in 2014 for Kalamazoo Kubb.

First, and maybe most importantly, we received a Steven R. Anderson Kubb Set Grant, which allowed us to expand kubb within our group. We now had the same sets that tournaments were using so we were practicing with the right stuff. It allowed us to keep kubb sets in our trunk, ensuring there was always a set available for impromptu games. The grant really allowed us to play more kubb, with more people. Thanks, USA Kubb!

The next big event was the U.S. National Kubb Championship. It was the first time Kalamazoo Kubb had sent a team, and The Settlers of Baton made a surprisingly good run. Christopher Jones even wrote up a post on his blog recapping the tournament.

After returning from nationals, Kalamazoo Kubb started planning for the future. It was time to grow the club. A lot of wheels were put into motion, including the creation of a new identity, a more robust social presence on Twitter and Facebook and the first official Kalamazoo Kubb event.

That first event was our KUBBQ. This was a casual barbecue and kubb friendlies event in a local park. Check out our recap to learn more and see some photos.

This past year was great, and we’re looking forward to a lot of exciting things in 2015. Happy New Year!