How to Play

The Officials

How to Play

Players' Rules

you'll need

Begin by finding 2 conkers, preferably big, round, shiny ones. Once you have them you will need to bore a hole through the middle of them. Be very careful as you do this and if underage always seek help from an adult. Traditionally, people used a skewer but this method is a bit outdated. We recommend safe use of a hand drill. Thread a piece of string through the hole and tie a knot at one end, so that it doesn't pull through. The string should be long enough to wrap twice around your clenched hand and still have about 8 inches or 20 cm left.

The Classic Game

Traditionally, a coin is tossed to decide who goes first. If you are the one whose conker is to be hit first, let it hang down from the string which is wrapped round your hand. You must hold it at the height your opponent chooses and keep it perfectly still. Your opponent, the striker, wraps their conker string round their hand just like yours. They then take the conker in the other hand and draw it back to strike. The conker is swung down by the string in an attempt to hit the opponent's conker. The striker is allowed 3 shots and then the players swap roles. If the strings tangle, the first player to call "snags" gets an extra shot. The game is won when one player destroys the other's conker.

Conkering Technique

When playing conkers, there are lots of methods to try to become a champion. Science can provide some aid in the process. On a conker, the hardest part is the top, paler ring. Therefore the best way to be a winner is to hit your opponents brown shell with this ring. By hitting the opponent's weaker areas with your strongest, you'll undoubtedly win. The challenge to this is having the skill to pull it off. Ashton Conker Club President John Hadman says; "There are various stances or swings that a player can take. Some people favour the overarm swing, where the conker comes down vertically. Others go in from the side or diagonally, reckoning that it's perhaps easier to go against the softer part of the nut. They are known as the side-slash, the forward side-slash, and the backhand side-slash."

Ways to

There have been many ways of illegally hardening conkers before battling. Methods include: soaking or boiling the conkers in vinegar or salt water, soaking in paraffin, partially baking them for in the oven to harden the case, coating with clear nail-varnish, filling them with glue or simply storing them in the dark for a year. A unique method was described by 2 times World Conker Champion Charlie Bray who said, "There are many underhanded ways of making your conker harder. The best is to pass it through a pig. The conker will harden by soaking in its stomach juices. Then you search through the pig's waste to find the conker."