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  • Jamie 10:44 am on February 17, 2013 Permalink  

    Team TrueSkill Ratings 

    There will be a longer, more complete blog post coming on the Planet Kubb blog about this soon. But, here is a sneak peek on the pitch.

    The Planet Kubb wiki now has 1,091 tournament matches in it and 357 teams. Holy crap right? Yeah. Special hat tip to @dobbie,  @chrishodges and @garrick for doing a ton of work entering match information.

    Well, there is more. I wrote a bot that walks through every match in date order (see the code) and calculates a TrueSkill rating (TrueSkill was developed by Microsoft for Xbox Live, it’s like a modern version of ELO rating system). Each team starts with a μ score of 25.

    So, who is the top ranked team in Planet Kubb? They have a μ score of 42.948. Hint: It’s not the Kubbchucks, we have a score of 28.205.

    See the top 50 active teams scores.

    Also, if you haven’t checked out the event pages, club pages and team pages in a while. You should, they are much better. Like I said, more to come, this is a sneak peek.

    Disclaimer: Both TrueSkill and ELO scores are based on a series of games played and the various skill levels of those matches. The TrueSkill value is recalculated weekly. As more matches from the past are added, these values will update and change to reflect the additional data. So, beware that these are dynamic and updating values.

    Oh, and if you haven’t tried the Group X-Ray, give it a try. You’ll want to go here immediately when tournament groups are declared in the future. :-)


  • Garrick van Buren 9:50 am on November 7, 2012 Permalink

    Of the 46 tournament games in the wiki, 32 have an advantage line somewhere game play.
    The percentage chance that leaving an advantage line results in a loss? 100% 88% (see @chrishodge’s correction below)

    • Chris Hodges 10:10 am on November 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That isn’t true – see these as examples:

      Twin Cities Winter Tournament 2012 Final Game 1
      Rockford 2012 Championship Head Slap v. Tad Kubbler (Game 2)
      US Nationals 2012, Finals, Knockerheads v. Kubbsicles, July 15 (Game 1)
      Kubb Open 2012, Finals, Kubb’Ings vs Fortschritt99 Blue (Game Two)

      In each of the above the winning team left an advantage line at some point but their opponents returned the favor later in the game.

      • Garrick 10:24 am on November 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        @chrishodges – thanks for double checking the work. Looks like in each of those games, each team left an advantage line. this lowers the chances to losing to 88%.

        • swedenssons 10:32 am on November 7, 2012 Permalink

          Is this in the next turn, or in general?
          Is there a way to run a regression, or something, and see how quickly you lose a game based on the number of field kubbs in play when you allow the other team to move up?

    • Garrick 10:51 am on November 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      @swedenssons – here’s another pass at the advantage line stats:

      32 games have an advantage line
      31 games had the final turn on the advantage line
      66 turns have advantage lines (so it’s tough to clear the advantage line once it remains)

      • Garrick 11:04 am on November 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        This data tells me that an advantage line almost always results in an immediate loss.

        Primarily because of the difficulty in recovering from leaving an advantage line.

        There’s a slim chance the losing team may be able to hold on for a couple more turns, maybe even recover from that initial advantage line, but they’ll leave another one – and lose immediately.

  • Dobbie 10:13 am on August 10, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: AFCWest   

    @chrishodges Go Chiefs!

  • Jamie 7:18 pm on August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Kubbs in Play Graph on Planet Kubb Games 

    There is a new graph on the game pages on the Planet Kubb Wiki. This is a graph I had thought about for a while but was having a really hard time figuring out how to program. Now it’s there and I think it is pretty cool. The graph shows Kubbs in Play by turn for a game. It tells a visual story of a Kubb game pretty well. Each chart below is hyperlinked to it’s game page on the wiki.

    It can show a slow moving friendly game:

    A competitive game with good players that are stuck at a plateau for a number of turns:

    A lopsided game that moves pretty slowly:

    An embarrasingly short game that blows up in the face of one of the teams:

    A championship game that moves along baseline by baseline at a steady clip with a strong battle:

    And even a “real Kubb game” with 10 in play for a while:

    Pretty cool! We’re just getting started with this stuff!

    • Garrick 8:01 pm on August 8, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply


    • Chris Hodges 10:32 am on August 9, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Love it!

      In the stats we had collected, the MODE for kubbs thrown per turn was 5, with the MEAN being slightly less (around 4.6 iirc). Can you easily tell me if that holds true with this data set?

      • Jamie 9:02 pm on August 10, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Oh @chrishodges you bait me so. :-) I can definitely get MEAN easy enough from the system. MODE would be a bit harder, I would have to write some code to specifically find it. Mainly I would just build an array of kubbs thrown on each turn (not always equal to kubbs in play, the array I already am tracking) and then do a MEAN and MODE on it.

        Maybe in the future.

    • Dano 2:35 pm on August 9, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      loving the graphs, charts, stats. All’s I can say is “Moneyball” !!

    • Chad B 9:49 pm on August 9, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great stuff Jamie!

    • Eric 7:15 am on August 10, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think this is awesome stuff.

    • Jamie 8:22 pm on August 10, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks all. I would love to see these as sparkline charts for every game. :-)

  • Jamie 11:32 pm on July 11, 2012 Permalink

    The game sheets on the Planet Kubb Wiki now have a couple of graphs as a test of feasibility. Coming along nicely! Here is a game that @chrishodges put in tonight!

    2012 Madison Midsommar Kubb Tournament Final Game Three

    • Jamie 11:46 pm on July 11, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Also worth noting is a new statistic in the scoring system, “cold_streak_max” and “hot_streak_max”. These are the maximum number of times you missed or hit (respectively) on baton throws. For example, you can see how in this game with @garrick, @dobbie and Jaime I missed 9 in a row! Ouch! And then look at game 1 in Rockford Championship where @dobbie hits 8 in a row.

      • Dobbie 12:00 am on July 12, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Interesting statistic. If you are hot, why not throw all 3 in a row? “Feathers Style” is something Steve F. came up with. You first identify the “hot short” (who is hitting short). They go first until they miss. Then the other player goes until they miss. Repeat. After the round, identify if the hot short is still the same person.

      • Dobbie 12:16 am on July 12, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Digging the pie charts. One thing that I feel really shares the story of the game is the percentage hit rate by Field (F) and Baseline (B). Perhaps a bar chart? Just a thought.

      • Chad B 9:19 am on July 12, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The pie charts are cool. Love the stats!

    • Chad2 10:14 pm on July 12, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      When will the kubb scoresheet app be out for my Android phone?

      • Jamie 10:19 pm on July 12, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Significant discussion has already been had on an HTML5 “offline” web application that will run on a variety of mobile devices to accommodate scoring on the pitch. It can then either email the score markup to be put on the wiki or directly use the API for the Planet Kubb Wiki to put the game on there.

        Step 2 would be to put each turn on the wiki as it happens. Or maybe we do that out of the gate. It will happen. :-)

  • Jamie 10:28 pm on July 8, 2012 Permalink

    Planet Kubb Scoring System (Beta) 

    Most sports have scores and many even have a box score that shows the progression of the game. Baseball fans can look at a box score from a game and relive the game just looking at a series of numbers. We’ve been wanting to be able to do the same thing for Kubb for a long time but there wasn’t any standard system for recording a game. No standard notation system. This topic has been discussed here on Planet Kubb before and my goal was to get something that had a number of features:

    1. An easy notation system using nothing but standard text.
    2. The notation should be scalable so it works for games tracking player by player details, or simple for games with less detail.
    3. Envision something that could be sent over Twitter so people could virtually watch a game turn by turn, tweet by tweet.
    4. It should be language neutral so Kubb games can easily be shared globally.

    I think we’ve got that now, and then some!

    This weekend I slapped together three things: some clarification on the Planet Kubb Notation system, a Planet Kubb Scoresheet to use on the Pitch and the Planet Kubb Wiki can store these games and calculate statistics off of the games.



    That string is a teams turn in a Kubb game. What happened? The first throw hit 2 field kubbs. The second hit a single field kubb. The third baton missed. Fourth hit a baseline kubb. Fifth missed. Sixth hit another baseline kubb.

    We can extend this further.


    That is the same series of throws, but here the players name has been added in front of the action so we can generate player by player statistics. You can also see we threw this turn “Chad style“, each throwing 2 batons and reserving a final baton each for the end.

    Those names are a bit long to type over and over though, so in real use we would use an initial.


    The notation system proposed here is very simple. The player notation is entirely optional. There are only a few symbols used. It’s very fast!

    The Planet Kubb Notation wiki page has more details. There is even a regular expression pattern there that you could use in your own code to read these.


    At some point it would be great to score the game in realtime on your iPhone, and we’ll get there! For now, a peice of paper and a clipboard is probably the best option.

    We’ve got a couple of concepts for the scoresheet up to play with on the Scoresheet page of the Planet Kubb Wiki. Let your thoughts be known with what you like and don’t like.

    The scoresheet allows for some additional data that the notation system doesn’t handle, notably the Kubb drilling locations. The scoresheet has a miniature picture of the pitch and you can put a dot where the Kubbs land.

    Game Statistics and Storage

    If you have a game scoresheet you want to share it with everyone right? Even better, it would be great to know the statistics from the game. The Planet Kubb Wiki right now has a form that will allow anyone with an account to put a game into the wiki and it will then calculate statistics from the game as well as give a place to forever remember the game.

    To really test this I used the video of the championship match at the 2012 Rockford Tournament. The match was between Tad Kubbler (Minneapolis) and Pitch Slap (Des Moines). You may know who won the match, but forget that for a moment and go relive the games. Click on each link below to see the scoresheet and statistics for each game.

    1. Rockford 2012 Championship Head Slap v. Tad Kubbler (Game 1)
    2. Rockford 2012 Championship Head Slap v. Tad Kubbler (Game 2)
    3. Rockford 2012 Championship Head Slap v. Tad Kubbler (Game 3)

    I scored these games in realtime using the videos which had all the empty space cut out. This proved that the scoring system was definitely fast enough to score a game as it happens. The form on the wiki can handle an unlimited number of turns, they can be added as long as the game goes. The Planet Kubb Wiki is currently only calculating some very basic statistics for each game, mostly around batons thrown, hits and misses, advantage lines and baseline kubbs.

    Putting these three games into the system was interesting. I was curious if the (primitive) statistics being calculated now would be interesting and they were!

    • Match 1 and 2 the teams hit kubbs 2 out of 3 throws. In match 3 the ratio drops to 1 in 2 throws.
    • In Match 1 Dobbie carries Pitch Slap through the game with Tony not hitting well. In Match 3 the roles flip and Tony carries Dobbie through the game.
    • Eric’s missed King shot (=) in turn 9 of match 2 is a heartbreaker!
    • Josh (Dobbie) has a masterful drill followed by a “d:6f” in Turn 14 of Match 2.

    The page for each of these games dumps all of it’s calculated data points raw. This is still very rough.

    All of this work is licensed (like all Planet Kubb content) under Creative Commons BY-SA. Please share your feedback and we can all make this even more awesome!

    It would be great to use these scoresheets on a number of games at Nationals this weekend!

    I really want to hear from you all and what you think about this? What looks odd? What stats for games would you like to see? What do you think of the scoresheets? Does the notation make sense? What do you think?

    • Garrick 6:23 am on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      great work.

    • Jamie 7:17 am on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If you want to try putting a game into the Wiki right now it’s easy, just make sure you are logged into the wiki and go to the game form. Put in a unique title for the game, something like “Kubb Friendly, Garrick v. Jamie, July 4 2012 (Game 1)”. All games must have a unique title.

      The form is pretty easy to use, just add turns as you need.

    • Chad B 8:37 am on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey Jamie, Chad and I were talking about a score sheet just the other day. We said we should bring something with us to the Nationals. People would start wondering what we were doing after our throws. Great forms Jamie!!! Awesome work my friend

      • Jamie 11:06 pm on July 10, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        That’s awesome Chad. Check out the big revision to both the scoresheet and the notation system that was posted tonight. I think this is really solid now.

    • THansenite 9:04 am on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I actually developed a game tracking sheet last winter for keeping stats on games. The v2 sheet only accounts for a one on one match and I was tweaking it for team play in v3. Here is the tracking sheet if you are interested: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B5FuVACCN0-vbHQ2djFvaDBxekE

      I also have a spreadsheet I built as a proof-of-concept for a complete stat tracking program for a college class I was taking. Using only kubb hits and kubbs thrown, it could tell you at any given point in the game how many kubbs were sanding on each baseline, in the field, and current percentages for all shots. A few of the DM people have seen the program that I named KITE (Kubb Interactive Tracking Engine).

    • John Pederson 9:54 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is why I love this game.

    • Chris Hodges 10:31 pm on July 10, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Can we get a link to the game form (and recorded games) on the left side of the wiki? A group similar to “Information” or “Planet Kubb” would be ideal.

      Also – LOVE this. Definitely taking some prints to EC this weekend. Part of me really wants to record every game I play, but I think I’ll have to settle for every game I watch. Gotta keep my focus!

      “It is bad when one thing becomes two.”

      • Jamie 11:02 pm on July 10, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        That is a great idea @chrishodges — I added a section for “Games” in the sidebar with links to various game related stuff. Thanks for the suggestion.

        Note that the form for entering the games and the templates that display the game output are really rough now. A lot could be done there to make it look really nice and show even more interesting data. This is just the start.

    • Jamie 10:57 pm on July 10, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I just gave the notations a significant polish and added a lot of examples to help people understand how to use the notation. It would be great if people could take a look.


      The example and full game example I think help a lot. The big thing added here is more flexibility and the notation was previously missing drills and advantage line indicators. There also was no way to indicate an illegal king hit (lose the game) — thanks @jakefreeberg for that catch.

      I think this round is really, really solid. I also changed the output of the game form on the wiki to look more like the revised version. I really enjoyed the full game example. I can see how I would easily be able to reconstruct a game I never saw by looking at that.

    • Jamie 11:05 pm on July 10, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      A new, really close to done version of the printed scoresheet is also available now. Check it out.


      We are planning on having a bunch of these printed and bringing them to nationals this weekend.

      • Chris Hodges 12:20 am on July 11, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Wondering if it would be a good idea to have a box at the top of the page to list players 1-6 (or thru 8?) for each team. Could save a little time on the shorthand to just call somebody “P3” rather than “Scott S.”

        Another outlier situation to consider is the rescue – my opponent toppled 6 total kubbs, but with my first one I am rescuing a previously established field kubb I had left in play last turn. I take their Adv Line away (presumably), and am technically throwing 7 kubbs this round. Do you just update the Inkast box with the new number, or should there be an extra field to capture rescues?

        Also, I’d really like to see that Inkast box get a little more robust, counting kubbs to start with, kubbs rescued, kubbs OOB once (rethrows), and penalty kubbs.

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