Planet Kubb Award 2015: First Baton Efficiency to Kubbitz

2015-07-12 14.09.45

In my book ‘Rebuilding Blocks’ I compare the relationship between the Inkastare and the First Blaster as the relationship between the pitcher and catcher in baseball. In kubb, as in baseball, communication between these roles is integral for success. The tighter the Inkastare throws – and the fewer options they leave for the defenders – the more field kubbs the First Blaster can topple with a single baton. The more field kubbs toppled with the first baton – the more progress that can be made on the baseline. This metric – First Baton Efficiency, the percentage of field kubbs toppled with the first baton – is a measure of how well the Inkastare and the First Blaster work together.

At the 2015 U.S. National Kubb Championship we at Planet Kubb wanted to see which of the eight teams playing on Sunday had the highest 1BE – and if this statistic could be quickly calculated for eight teams in real-time.

I’d like to thank Jim Bernard, Jesse Fraim, Brian Ramsey for helping me record every kubb inkast and every baton thrown in the Quarter Final round. As I received the scoresheets, I quickly added up the Is and the Fs, double checking and triple checking the math. At the beginning of Sunday’s award program, I presented the traveling Nyland Sack Trophy to Kubbitz for a 47.12% 1BE. Yes, that means they toppled slightly less than 50% of the available field kubbs with the first baton. Wow.

But remember, this is the Quarterfinals at the U.S. Nationals.

1. Kubbitz – 47.12% (41f/87i)
2. Furor Celtica – 45.71% (16f/35i)
3. Ringers – 45.45% (30f/66i)
4. Kubbsicles – 44.12% (15f/34i)
5. Damage – 42.86% (15f/35i)
6. X-Kubbed – 40.9% (36f/88i)
7. Ona Orth – 38.71% (24f/62i)
8. King Pin – 37.93% (11f/29i)

Yes, just 9.2% separated these eight teams’ performances with their first baton, 3% separate the top 4. That’s far tighter than I was anticipating. Here’s where I think the 1BE metric is really interesting – Kubbitz finished 1.41% ahead of Furor Celtica but did so by inkasting and toppling 2.5x the field kubbs. Kubbitz & X-Kubbed had more kubbs inkast in game 1 (and then again in game 2) than Furor Celtica and Kubbsicles had in their entire match.

Congrats again to Kubbitz for consistently making progress with the first baton across 3 long games.

And yes, we’re now taking suggestions for the kubb statistic Planet Kubb should highlight at the 2016 U.S. National Kubb Championship.

Special thanks to Dobbie for reviewing game state a few days later and highlighting where clarifications and corrections were needed to more clearly communicate the play.


Drilling a [[kubb]] from the middle of the [[baseline]] with the throwing arm on the same side of the pitch from where the kubb lands.

Commonly identified as a high risk, high reward drill. Used in conjunction with a [[regular cut]], it’s possible to cut the kubb back towards the [[centerline]] pin.

In 2015 The Nylund Sack Trophy Goes To…

This year, Planet Kubb will again be awarding the Nylund Sack Trophy at the U.S. Kubb National Championship. This year’s award will go to the team with the highest overall first baton efficiency in the quarter final round.

What is First Baton Efficiency?
It’s the % of field kubbs toppled by the first baton thrown in a turn.

To calculate this year’s winner, we’ll be scoring each quarter final match using the most recent Planet Kubb scoresheet then adding up all the kubbs inkast for each team and dividing by the number toppled by their first baton (see the efficiency equation at the bottom of the scoresheet). The team with the highest percentage wins.

We will need help scoring matches. If you’ll be watching the Sunday’s matches and can help document the game play to calculate the winner – contact Garrick – Thanks!

Scoresheet Updated to v11

Each year after scoring the US National Kubb Championship Garrick and I have identified improvements for the scoresheet. Real use is where we see big improvements. Scoring games in championship tournaments is super helpful for this. Last years change was radical! We flipped the entire scoresheet from portrait to landscape and it is so much better. This years changes are minor but very helpful.

  1. As I was scoring games on the pitch I started doing something that I really liked. When the throwing team had cleared all the field kubbs and could now move to attacking the baseline, I made a thick vertical line over the grid for that turn. This allowed me to very easily see the Batons to Clear (BTC) for each team. We decided to put this right into the scoresheet and put a blank in between the vertical lines in the score grid. These can be connected to indicate when the field was cleared. Obviously this is easy to calculate, but this visual cue is really nice.
  2. The throw count numbers were nice but it turns out that they are better not in increments of 10, but instead a the end of each turn. It’s more helpful to know that number so we moved those.
  3. Added a reference to the new rescue Kubb attempt (Y) notation.

The new scoresheet is up on the wiki as a PDF to easily download and print. We also for the first time ever have a Github organization for Planet Kubb, and a repository just for the scoring system. Using this, you can create “issues” in that repository if you have suggestions for ways the scoring system, including the scoresheet, can be improved.

Planet Kubb Live Tweets Throw-by-Throw Again

For the 2nd year in a row Planet Kubb has used it’s notation system to share with the world throw-by-throw action from the finals match of the US National Kubb Championship! People from around the world were able to follow the game in real time, regardless of country or language. Planet Kubb is the first and only venue to ever live tweet throw-by-throw Kubb matches. Here are our tweets archived as they were sent. It would be great to see the World Championship do this!

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