The morning speech went like this:

"We have 36 teams. We have participants from 8 states. We have new players, we have National Champions and we have most of the players that competed at the World Championship in Sweden and represented us very well with a Silver Medal. We have families and friends playing together. We have unity and common purpose.

We also have some construction [at the park this year]. While hard work can sometimes leave a mess, when it’s done Tower Park will be revitalized.

2013’s theme was “Game On”, coined by KubbNation Magazine. We had teams coming out of nowhere and taking well established teams down. We saw teams get stronger, faster. We saw some major storylines at the US National tournament in 2013...2013 WAS "Game On".

2014 – maybe for me the theme is “Under Construction” – we saw a lot of changes to the game. Most tournaments were trying new rules, playing in the sandbox to give this game the longevity it deserves. We saw changes to many tournament formats, and new formats as well. The kubb community put on their steel-toe boots and got dirt under their fingernails. Thanks for all your hard work everyone."

It was an interesting Klassic. The five year jubilee of the Fall Kubb Klassic had some interesting weather, some interesting matchups, interesting changes, and some interesting challenges.

The changes teams saw initially was the pitch setup. Literally the entire park was mowed except for the pitches. This is because we were halfway through pitch setup when the mower arrived. Luckily, the grass wasn't too long, and for the most part, the drillers did the weed whacking in the corners. The grass was gone by round 4 on most pitches.

The other change we made this year, as voted by members of the DMK group on Facebook, was the change to move to 4 baton starts on all games, not just the 3rd. From a tournament director standpoint, this was a great add. Games that went to tie were quickly resolved, as the defending team did not have to finish their throws. With a 6 baton start, Team A always throws an additional 6 batons. With a 4 baton start, after turn 1, each team will finish their turn having thrown more batons than their opponent, so when time is called the team throwing finishes their throws, and that's game.

One of my concerns about going to 4 Batons was the 50 minute time limit and I expected an increase in matches that went to time. From last year to this year the amount of games going to time went DOWN 2%. Interesting.....

It's also interesting that:
  • The talent keeps getting stronger. Being on Pitch 2 doesn't give you a shoe-in anymore for a final 8 seed.
  • The Chicks are Rocking the Sticks: 3 girls owned the quarter finals. Bridget from "Kubb You Long Time" had back to back survivals in the Meatgrinder, and Heidi helped Rhymes with Tube win a Silver Medal this year. Stephanie played lights-out this year, elevating Kubb'd to a Semi-finals position; the last Klassic semi finals Kubb'd was in was 2010.
  • Team Kubboom (Ray H and Pat K) took down Ringers (Eric A, Scott G, Dave E) to secure a spot in the quarters.
  • Another year with no teams finishing the day undefeated and no team finishing the day win-less.
  • Stateline Kubb was the storyline of the Klassic in my opinion: 1st and 2nd place finishes, Ray Ray and Kubboom for T-5, and Pat/Kaleb as Gunnarr finishing in the middle of the field.....simply amazing!

Another addition this year was painted baselines, and I really felt that not only did it help get those kubbs where they need to go to start the game, it really did a great job putting the owness on the thrower to ensure they are not over the line. DMK (i.e. Chris Hodges) invented a quick and fairly inexpensive way to get this done, so if you are interested in the secret, we would love to help you get your baselines marked. We felt it made a big difference. Tony Hansen's aerial view shows the baseline markings well:

I do want to mention Team Kubbarate in this post. They had another amazing Klassic. They were on the bubble in Round 6 for the second year in a row. They win and they are in the final 8........Sam and Max tore it up all day. They nabbed a game from Silver Medalist at Worlds Eric Goplin and Michah S.


(Darren's group poses a conundrum for Goofy Kubbers)

Our final 4:

1st - Goofy Kubbers 1.777 (Evan Fitzgerald, Chris Hodges) IL/IA
2nd - Rhymes With Tube (Heidi Schwarzenbart, Darren Finger, Dave Giese) WI
3rd - Luke Had Better Things To Kubb (Grant Scott and Mark Blazel) IA/WI
4th - Kubb'd (Steve Feathers and Stephanie Kidder) IA

(apparently the trick is wearing red)

A very big "Thank You" to all the teams, The Des Moines Derby Brats, sponsors, volunteers, and spectators. A big thank you to Flippin' Batons (winners of the Spirit Award); they now know they are not allowed to come help with setup, as they should be enjoying the day and not setting up pitches in the AM rain. Thanks to the city (ha). Thanks to Dana and Grant for trophies. Thanks to my wife for putting up with me all week. Thanks to my girls that only saw me for a few hours in the last 8 days. Thanks to the players and teams that were there for us at Cup O Kryptonite 5 years ago. While a parking lot now paves the grass of our first 2010 tournament, I still remember those that I have seen at every Klassic. Thank you.

And now for shameless chest-thumping....I've had a rough few days....I feel like I deserve it. How about those DMK'ers, eh? 1st place, 3rd place, 4th place, 9th, 10th, 11th......amazing showing by our local crew. While I never want a team at my tournament to feel like they are the away team, I have to say that Des Moines Kubb gave the local scene a solid.

5 years - #kubbtourney - Under Construction,