How to Play Kubb

One of Kubb's many great qualities is that it is very easy to understand and to start playing. Kubb can certainly be a game of great skill and strategy, but a beginner can be up and running in no time at all. This is a a quick description of the rules. 

Corner stakes are placed so that a rectangle is formed, measuring 5m x 8m. The centre stakes are placed in the middle of the sidelines. The king is placed upright in the centre of the pitch, and five kubbs are placed on each baseline. The pitch is ready for play.

After deciding who will go first, the game begins with the first team throwing their batons from behind their baseline, attempting to knock down the kubbs on the opposite baseline. Batons may rotate vertically when thrown.  

Once all the batons are thrown, the opposing team gathers any kubbs that were knocked down. That team throws them back across to the other half of the pitch (the opponent’s side of the field). Kubbs thrown back into play are called field kubbs, and are raised by the first team where they came to rest. If a kubb comes to rest outside of the field of play, the team is allowed to throw that kubb again, after all kubbs have been thrown. If that kubb comes to rest outside the field of play a second time, it becomes a punishment kubb, and the other team is allowed to place it wherever they would like within one baton length of the king or marking stakes. The second team then throws their batons, first attempting to knock down any field kubbs, then the kubbs on the baseline, then the king. 

If they are unable to knock down all of their kubbs and the king, the first team picks up all knocked down kubbs, throws them into play as field kubbs, and then tries to knock them over with the batons. Play continues until the game ends. If at any time a team does not knock down all the field kubbs in their opponents half of the pitch, the other team is allowed to move up to the kubb closest to the centre line and throw their batons from that new line. Kubbs and baton throws at the king are always thrown from the baseline.

The game is won by the team who knocks down all the kubbs in their opponents half of the field and on the baseline then knocks over the king. However, if a team knocks down the king prior to knocking down all the kubbs, then that team immediately loses the game. In tournament play, matches may be a single game or best-of-three games.

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Full Rules

The UK Kubb Championship tournament plays with the official UK Kubb Championship Rules. This rule set is largely the work of a collaboration between the U.S. Kubb Championship and Des Moines Kubb Club. They created the most in-depth set of Kubb rules in the world, and we have based our rules set on their document, with their permission. The UK Kubb Championship rules keeps much of the text of the original, but reflects the differing tournament format of the UK event.

Some phases and situations in Kubb can be complicated and potentially indefinable by any ruleset. If a situation is not covered in these rules, the decision shall be made in accordance with fairness, with decisions being influenced by the spirit of the game. Often a logical extension of the closest existing rule or the principles embodied in the rules will provide guidance for determining the resolution.