For the third consecutive year Planet Kubb was at the US National Kubb Championship and kept throw-by-throw records of the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals matches. This has become a bit of a tradition for us and people now eagerly look forward to getting their hands on the scoresheets after the tournament to look at what happened. Each year that we’ve done this we’ve found improvements to make to the scoresheet and notation. This year we had a first in US Kubb Championship play when King Pin attempted to rescue a Kubb.
Let me describe the situation. King Pin had left a field Kubb and given X Kubbed an advantage line, about 3 meters in. X Kubbed finished their attack and King Pin was left was 7 kubbs to throw in, along with the previous field Kubb. There were two baseline kubbs remaining. At this point King Pin decided they did not like the placement of the field Kubb that they had left in the previous turn and wanted to rescue it. JP Larson (J) picked up a Kubb and threw it bowling style at the field Kubb and missed. He threw a second and missed. At this point JP stepped aside and Mark Oman (M) threw a Kubb at the field Kubb and missed. He then threw another Kubb (totaling four kubbs) and this time he hit the field Kubb however it did not go out of bounds. King Pin decides to not attempt anything further. I’m not sure they could have anyway since the field was now laying down it would be very difficult to hit. So, they drill the remaining three kubbs, then rethrow the 4 kubbs they attempted rescues with. The field Kubb they were trying to rescue was set back up in it’s new spot.
That was a complicated set of events and it was pretty exciting to watch. As I wrote this down using Planet Kubb notation I had:
j:2i m:2i j:3i4r
This is completely accurate. JP (J) threw 2 kubbs, Mark (M) threw 2 kubbs. J threw 3 more kubbs and rethrew 4. There were no penalty kubbs. Accurate it may be but it completely misses the spirit of the action. Part of what made this interesting was the rescue attempt failed! If it would have been successful, let’s say that that 4th Kubb would have rescued the field Kubb, then we would have had this:
j:2i m:2iq j:3i4ri
The q would let us know a Kubb was rescued. Personally I stylistically put the rescued Kubb getting thrown back in as a final i by itself to highlight it. The q informs us of what happened with the previous 4 i‘s. But, that didn’t happen so we are left not really knowing what happened. After deliberating this we attempting a rescue of a Kubb deserves it’s own notation.
Y has now been added to the notation system to indicate a rescue Kubb attempt/throw. Using this, we would restate the scenario as:
j:2y m:2y j:3i4r
Much better! Now I know that those first four throws were not drills. They were special. I also know that since I don’t see a q they were not successful. Now I can see the notation and actually get a sense of what happened in the game.
Technically if we are just storing the data of the game Y isn’t needed. The first notation describes what happens, but it’s devoid of the excitement and emotion. Capturing the spirit of the game is something we are trying to do with the notation. For example, there technically is no reason for =. It’s just a missed throw. You could simply put – and know that there was nothing else to throw at but the King so it must be a king miss. But that misses the point. It’s exciting to see:
3i 3f b b = = K
You know what happened at each step! Y solves this problem nicely for rescue attempts and captures the drama of the pitch. We think this closes one of the last areas of a Kubb match that the notation hadn’t been tested against before.