The Players' Rules

The Officials

How to Play

Players' Rules


All conkers and laces are supplied by the World Conker Championships. Laces must not be knotted further or tampered with. Conkers are drawn ‘blind’ from a bag, and players may reject up to three selected conkers.


The game will commence with the toss of a coin, the winner of the toss may elect to strike or receive.


A minimum distance of no less than 8” (20cm) of lace must be between knuckle and nut for both striking and receiving players.


Each player takes three alternate strikes at the opponent’s conker.


Each attempted strike must be clearly aimed at the nut with reasonable force. Stewards may order a shot to be retaken.


The game will be decided once one of the conkers is smashed. A small piece of nut or skin (a third or less) remaining shall be judged out; it must be enough to mount an attack.


If both nuts smash at the same time, then new conkers shall be drawn.


Any nut being knocked from the lace but not smashing may be re-threaded and the game continued, or the player may choose to draw a new conker. The opponent may also elect to draw a new nut (as per Rule 1).


A player causing a knotting of the laces (a snag) will be noted, three snags will lead to disqualification.


If a game lasts for more than five minutes, then the ‘5 minute rule’ will come into effect. Each player will be allowed nine further strikes at their opponent’s nut, alternating three strikes each. If neither conker has been smashed during this time, then the player who strikes the nut the most times during this period will be judged the winner. If this is equal, then play continues, one strike each in turn, until one player hits and the other misses. Rule 5 must be followed.