Saturday was Klassic.

After testing all the technology on Friday morning, a handful of club members met up at Tower Park to setup. We knew that the girls were going to be playing soccer with us on the field, and we did everything we could to keep them there. I am glad we did it, too. While the room between pitches may have been a little tight, a lot more people know what kubb is because of it and no soccer balls came into the pitches.

After setup, I made a trip out to Tim Arends workshop to pickup a few “blanks” of the trophy to show off at Raccoon River. After I saw the work he had put into it, I couldn’t get the thought of handing them to the winners Saturday night out of my head.

Over 40 people met up at Raccoon River Brewery and partook (is that a word) in the festivities, pizza specials, and Happy Hour till 9:00 (for Kubbers only). Between 6:00 p.m. and Midnight, teams talked shop, discussed the DMK format, talked about the “sleeper teams” and held the trophies they were going to battle for the next day.

Saturday morning we arrived at the park in total darkness. Orion hung low in the sky, and the Pleiades shone brighter than I can remember ever seeing in the winter evening. The hunter and the bull were signs of the shape of things to come; some would play the role of the bull, and others that of Orion (or, as the Sumerians depicted the constellation as Gilgamesh) on this day. I looked back up at the constellation and imagined a kubb player, drilling his 10th kubb, setting up a pile for the win.

I was pretty tired from the night before, and with the 5:00 a.m. start I somehow ended up in shorts, which did not work well in the 45 degree morning. If it wasn’t for the coffee the Boy Scouts brought out at 7:30 a.m. I would have died of exposure.

Registration began promptly at 8:00, and 32 teams were added to the DMK System in time for our pre-game presentation at 8:50.

The first round was completely random, and I am always scared their will be mis-matches in the first round. Not this time. Teams matched up well, with a ton of games going the distance. Teams began the meat-grinder right out of the gate, with no reprise to be seen in following rounds.

Running a tournament format that is completely different than anything that had been tried before has inherent risks; and when you create the next round, a chill does go up your spine. "Will the right teams play each other." "Will the teams that performed best in their games make the finals?" "Will 2 teams somehow meet each other twice in the rounds?" Well, the software performed exactly as intended, and the second paired up some great matches. I feel the teams that played the best that day made it to the playoffs. I will always love the format; the competitive teams are sweating through each game, trying to keep up with the opponents, and  new teams have the chance to enjoy the day with fellow newcomers to the game. Recreational players can expect to see some elevated competition with teams of similar skill levels.

The only casualty in Group Play was this poor baton.

 After 6 rounds the final 8 were set.

Team Kubboom snuck into the 8th seed with a better game score of .032 (meaning they went to time slightly less than the other 3 teams that had similar match records.) The Goofy Kubbers, a team from Illinois, had been playing championship level kubb all day and was rightfully placed at 1st seed. No team went undefeated, and no team went scoreless in Group Play.

Sweden’s Sons were matched up against 7th seed, Relentless Kastpinnars. Minnesota vs. Wisconsin. The beauty vs. the beast (you decide which is which). Or… the hunter vs. the bull.  Either way, this was the only quarterfinal game that went to a 3rd; it was a battle of epic proportions.

An “almost” rematch of the Sweet Sixteen at the U.S. Nationals, Kubb’d had to take on Chris Hodges (Inkubbus) again, but playing with Grant Scott as "Viva" Los Padres at 4th seed. Will Kubb’d take another T-5, or will this be the tournament where Kubb’d takes home hardware? Will Hodges crack under the pressure of battling a team from the same club. DMK vs. DMK in this one.

The 4th match in the quarters was a northerly battle. KingPin in 3rd seed vs. 7x7x15=Kubb Kubbed. This had players from Chaska battling it out to take home hardware. Minnesota vs. Minnesota.

Here are the results of the 2012 Fall Kubb Klassic:

Sweden’s Sons (Eric Anderson and Dave Ellringer) representing WI – 1st Place

Goofy Kubbers (Evan Fitzgerald and Cal Merath) representing both IL/WI – 2nd Place

Los Padres (Chris Hodges and Grant Scott) representing IA – 3rd Place

KingPin – representing MN(JP Larson and John Oman) – 4th Place

Round by Round Resluts of every team

The last few months has been rough for me personally, and helping coordinate the 2012 Fall Kubb Klassic has really helped me focus and keep my spirits up. The tournament has been this artificial milestone I had in my mind, that once attained, the road would get easier, and the clouds would begin to break. Having this tournament to look forward to has been a blessing, and having teams show up, play, and have fun in my town was wonderfully unusual and fantastic.

Couldn't do it without you....a big thank you to all 18 of our sponsors.

 Some people wind up in bizarre places, and we can never understand how they got there. Sometimes those places are amiss and devastating, and sometimes those places are good and amazing; places other people want to be a part of. I don’t remember how I found this place called kubb, but I’m glad the community was here yesterday to share it with me. It’s a very good, and slightly bizarre place that I'll always be a part of.