Many of you learning how to play Kubb may sometimes wonder if everyone is speaking a different language. Well unless they are speaking Swedish, we can help! Each month we are going to highlight both some official terms and some slang terms that will help you understand both the game and what everyone else is saying. Since this is the first vocabulary post, we are going to start with the very basic terms and move forward from there.
Pitch: The whole field of play in a kubb game. From baseline to baseline, often pitches will have field-marking stakes to delineate the edges of gameplay.
Field-Marking Stakes: On the rectangular field, each of the four corners is marked by a corner stake, and two stakes on each side of the centerline (which is in the middle of the field, parallel to the baselines).
Base Kubb: A base kubb is one of the five kubbs spaced along the baseline on each side of the pitch. When the game starts, you must throw from behind the line of these kubbs. All of these kubbs must also be knocked over before you try to knock over the king!
Attacking Team: This particular term is pretty easy. On any given turn, the team throwing the batons is the attacking team, kind of like the offense in football or basketball. So, if you have a baton in your hand, you are part of the attacking team, and they are referring to you!
Defending Team: This team is not throwing batons. However they do get to “Raise a Kubb” if it is knocked over by the attacking team.
Inkastare: Okay, this word is actually Swedish! An Inkastare is a team member that specializes in kubb raising (see below), or throwing a base kubb back into play, making it become a field kubb! They only get two attempts to throw the kubb onto the correct side of pitch, so it is important you have a skilled Inkastare (we just love saying it!) Being an Inkastare on a serious team can involve a lot of precision and strategy, but in our opinion, it is worth it just to be called an Inkastare!
Kubb Raising: If a kubb is knocked over by the attacking team, then the defending team’s Inkastare gets to throw it to the other side of the pitch. The attacking team then gets to tilt the kubb over so it is standing. This is called raising a kubb. It then becomes 1) a field kubb, 2) the new temporary baseline of the team (if you don’t knock it over), and 3) you have to knock it over before attacking another team’s base kubbs. Which way a player chooses to raise his kubb can have a real effect on a team’s strategy and the game!
Footprint: When a kubb is thrown to become a field kubb, the kubb can be raised or put up onto either of its two ends. The position a kubb would take when righted on either end is called a footprint. These footprints are especially important when designating a kubb in/out of bounds, or a team’s kubb raising strategy.
While these are just a few terms to get you started, there are plenty more that you can just pick up as you are playing in a kubb tournament! Are there any important vocabulary words you feel newbies should know? Would you like us to enlighten you on any particular phrase? Comment below and let us know!