2015 Great Lakes Kubb Championship Recap

ALANSON, MICH.—On Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015 the second annual Great Lakes Kubb Championship was held in Northern Michigan. The tournament used a “meat grinder” format. Matches were best of three games with a 50 minute time limit. After five rounds, the top two teams played for the championship, and the third and fourth ranked teams played for the third place trophy.

Teams from all over Michigan, one from Wisconsin, and one player from Minneapolis were all present. This year’s tournament featured 14 total teams, including two representing Kalamazoo Kubb—Kubbing Up With the Joneses (Christopher and Bryan Jones) and PHNQ (Jesse Fraim and Tyler Wood).

Kalamazoo Kubb players under Great Lakes Kubb Championship sign.

Kalamazoo’s two teams were matched against each other early in the day. It was a long-fought battle, ultimately ending in a last-minute game one win by PHNQ just before time expired. PHNQ and Kubbing Up With the Joneses would both finish the day with a 6-2-1 record.

PHNQ would end ranked in the top four and qualify to play in the third place game. They won that match against Karli and Crystal in two games to claim the third place trophy.

The championship game was played between local team Kubbigans 2.0 and Wisconsin team Rhymes With Tube. After two games, Rhymes With Tube took the win and with it, the 2015 championship title.

2015 Great Lakes Kubb Championship top 4 teams

The Great Lakes Kubb Championship is held every year on the weekend after Labor Day in Alanson, Michigan. The tournament raises money for the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund, and hosted by Phil Dickinson of the Great Lakes Kubb Club.

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

Player Profile: Bryan Jones

Photo of Bryan Jones inkasting a kubb on the beach.Name: Bryan Jones
Age: 23
Team: Kubbing up with the Joneses

Where are you originally from?

Monroe, Mich.—south of Detroit and north of Toledo

What’s your day job?

I’m currently a substitute teacher while I look for a position as a graphic designer. I’m also a freelance graphic designer and artist.

What do you like best about kubb?

I like how easy it is to learn the basics of kubb, and how there are always new strategies and techniques to learn and practice.I also appreciate how kubb can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s great to play a game that can be shared with many generations. There also seems to be a great deal of good sportsmanship involved with kubb. Everyone I’ve played with has always been encouraging and helpful even when we are each other’s competition.

What’s your kubb speciality? (short, long, king, etc)

I’m not sure I have a true specialty yet, as I continue to figure out my best kubb skills. I am a lefty though, so that becomes an advantage sometimes for certain shots.

What’s your favorite kubb memory?

My favorite kubb memory would have to be from this past Fourth of July when I played in a Kalamazoo Kubb random draw doubles tournament. My teammate Joey Wood and I took home 1st place that day!

What’s your biggest kubb goal?

I would love to help make kubb a huge deal wherever I end up. I’d also like to improve my skills enough to help my team do well at one of the bigger tournaments someday.

Where do you see the future of kubb?

I see kubb gaining popularity as it continues to be shared in various outlets across the country. I believe social media will be a major part of spreading the greatness that is kubb.

What are your interests outside of kubb?

Other than kubb, I enjoy disc golf and bowling. I’m into making pottery, painting, and printmaking (especially using letterpress). Travel is also a huge interest and I take every chance I get to explore someplace new.

Name a fun fact about yourself.

A poster I designed called “Mitten Rewritten” can be seen on display in the Anderson House Building in Michigan’s capital, Lansing. That same poster was also purchased by the Gwen Frostic School of Art to become part of their permanent collection.