source: | 2000 Games, Devotions, Themes, Ideas and more for Youth Work
only for private using

Kubb - a viking game

Preparation time: none
No. people: 8+
Duration: 1 hour
Material cost: medium
Age: 10+
Location: outside
Season: any
Activity level: medium
Materials: Border sticks/wood, games figures
Goal: Games, Sports, Fun
Summary: An old, Scandinavian team game played by the Vikings



Even the Vikings played “Vedkubbar” (wood/ wooden blocks). From this word comes the present day name of ‘Kubb’. Through the Vikings, this game spread from Scandinavia to England and the North of France. However over time, this game was forgotten; only on the largest Swedish island was this tradition kept alive. From there, the Kubb game recently spread and has since enjoyed great popularity by others outside of Scandinavia.

Since 1995 there has been a world championship in Kubb held in Gotland.

The game is relatively simple: two or four players attempt to knock down the wooden blocks (Kubb) using the rounded wooden throwing sticks. The person, who first manages to knock over the King; only allowed after a tough battle, wins.

The Game board and pieces

  • Border wood/sticks 280x30mm
  • Kubb 140x60x60 mm
  • King approx. 285x70x75 mm + Crown
  • Wooden batons/sticks (for throwing) 280x15 mm + Tip
  • Game board: 8 x 5 Metres

The Rules

  1. Team ‘A’ tries to knock over the Kubbs of team B by using the wooden batons/sticks.

  2. The knocked over Kubbs are thrown into the games area of team A.

    Kubb off -side:

    The throwing team is allowed to throw the Kubb once more. If the Kubb lands off-side for a third time, the other team is allowed to set up the Kubb somewhere within the playing field. However there must be at least one ‘stick’ length distance kept from the King.

    • Kubb ‘out’ behind the rear boundary:

      If the Kubb lands behind the rear boundary, the Kubb is to be set up somewhere along the rear boundary.

    • Kubb lands in the playing field:

      The Kubb is set up wherever it landed. The direction in which to set it up in is down to the player i.e. whether to set it up facing left or right is the decision of the respective player.

  3. Then it is Team B’s turn to throw. A simple order should be kept when throwing. The Kubb with the least distance to the throwing team has to be knocked over first.

  4. Then Team A has to throw the fallen kubbs into the playing field of Team B; here they are to be set up according to the rules. Team A can now try to use the wooden sticks to knock over the opponents Kubbs. If Team B does not succeed to knock down a Kubb in the playing field, Team A can then cast out the Kubb that is closest to the centre line.

    Team A can then throw from this imaginary line.

  5. The game continues in this way until one team has all the Kubbs on their side. If a team (in this case A) has all the Kubbs on their side and is next in line to throw, the King now becomes the next target; if knocked over the game is won.

  6. Rules:

    • If the king is knocked over at the wrong time, the game is over and whoever knocked the king down loses.
    • Kubbs are not allowed to knock over other Kubbs. If this happens then the Kubbs are simply set up again wherever they are lying.
    • Using a wooden stick multiple Kubbs can be knocked over. The order of the Kubbs must be noted (e.g. if a Kubb is closer to the team in the playing field)
  7. Alternatives:

    • The Kubbs are not thrown back rather remain behind the rear boundary if knocked over. If all the Kubbs of one team are knocked over, then the king can be knocked over. This variation is more suitable for beginners and does not take as long to play.
    • Kubbs can knock over other Kubbs. If this happens, then both Kubbs from the opposing team have to be placed on top of one another.
    • The king has to be knocked over by standing with back to the centre line, and through the legs.

Sent in by Ronnie Berzins

[ © | 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work ] - 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work
picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork