While the rest of the world are recovering from the Eurocup Football, enjoying the Tour the France, or preparing for the Olympics, the tiny town of Nijveen was home to its very own mass sporting event: the open Dutch Kubb Championship.
Over the past few years, the Swedish game of Kubb has become quite popular in the Netherlands. So popular in fact, that the official Dutch championship 2012 drew in 96 teams to Nijeveen (otherwise known as ‘the middle of nowhere’). Especially for lomography.com, yours truly gathered a team and a camera and took part in the championship.
We arrived the night before the championship, pitched our tents, and started some practice games. The object of the game is simple: two teams take turns to knock over first the blocks on the other side of the playing field, and then the King in the middle of the field, using wooden sticks. A certain system of throwing blocks back into the field assures this can take a while. Read all about it at Wikipedia.
Confident of our game, we retired early to our camp, to drink to the imminent victory of our team, Kubb de Goede Hoop (Kubb Good Hope).
Alas, the next morning we soon found out most other teams were even better than we were. Well, I say better, but of course, we were severely hindered by the sun in our faces, rather dented throwing sticks, and occasional gusts of side wind…We fought bravely, but in the end, we had to give in. Under the blazing sun, we soon got knocked out of the tournament.
No worries though, the location of the tournament venue next to a swimming pool made us realize there are more sports to excel in.
As the day drew closer to its end, the quarter finals and semi finals were played out, until only two teams were left standing. The masses gathered round the sacred arena to watch the grand finale: Kubb Royale vs. local team Apport! It was an epic battle, but only one team could win: Kubb Royale.
It was a magnificent tournament. Next year we’ll definitely try again for the championship.