World Conker Championships
World Conker Championships
|Highest governing body||Ashton Conker Club|
|Type||Pub games, Precision sports|
The World Conker Championships are held annually on the second Sunday in October in the county of Northamptonshire, England. Two players use conkers threaded onto a string and take turns to strike the others nut until it shatters. Since 1965, conker players from around the world have gathered to compete in a knock-out, to be world champion in team and individual, also women's and youth titles. Up to 5000 spectators watch around 400 players participating. from many countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, the United States and the United Kingdom.  
The championships began in 1965 when a group of anglers in Ashton held a conker contest at the Chequered Skipper public house because the weather was too bad to go fishing  The event was held in Ashton for 45 years before moving to a larger venue at the Shuckburgh Arms  in Southwick, Northamptonshire in 2009. Money made from the competition goes to charities such as the Northamptonshire Association for the Blind and the Huntingdon Society for the Blind.
The tournament has been threatened with conker shortages over the years, in 1976 conkers used in the tournament had to be flown in from Jersey, in 1980 freak spring weather was one of the factors that threatened the World Conker Championships causing a conker shortage, and in 1982 a late frost killed off the horse chestnut blossom resulting in a failed conker harvest.
On Thursday October 6, 2011, Ashton Conker Club the organisers of the World Conker Championships were forced to cancel the event over safety fears with high winds being forecasted. In 2012, the championships were cancelled again when a suitable venue couldn't be found in time.
Concerns for the future of the event were voiced over the Horse-chestnut leaf miner moth, Cameraria ohridella, which has appeared in the region and could have a detrimental effect on the UK's Horse-chesnut population affecting conker yields.
Video History from 2007 to 2016
- 2016 World Conker Championship by BBC Northampton on Youtube
- 2015 World Conker Championship by Trans World Sport on Youtube
- 2014 World Conker Championship courtesy of Youtube
- 2013 World Conker Championship by NDTV on Youtube
- 2010 World Conker Championship by Ben Moseby
- 2008 World Conker Championship by TIME
- 2007 World Conker Championship by ITN on Youtube
Players’ Rules of Engagement for the Noble Game of Conkers as follows: 
- Prior to the game, over 2000 conkers (horse chestnuts) of the required 1.25-inch (30mm) width are collected, drilled and strung ready by tournament officials.
- Each game will commence with a toss of a coin, the winner of the toss may elect to strike or receive.
- A distance of no less than 8" or 20 cm of lace must be between knuckle and nut.
- Each player then takes three alternate strikes at the opponent’s conker.
- Each attempted strike must be clearly aimed at the nut, no deliberate miss hits.
- The game will be decided once one of the conkers is smashed.
- A small piece of nut or skin remaining shall be judged out, it must be enough to mount an attack.
- If both nuts smash at the same time then the match shall be replayed.
- Any nut being knocked from the lace but not smashing may be re threaded and the game continued.
- 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 play will halt and the "5 minute rule" will come into effect. Each player will be allowed up to nine further strikes at their opponents nut, again alternating three strikes each. If neither conker has been smashed at the end of the nine strikes then the player who strikes the nut the most times during this period will be judged the winner.
Roll of Honour
All players are British except where indicated with a national flag icon.
|Year||Mens Individual||Ladies Individual||Team Winner||Ladies Team||Junior (7-11)||Youth/Intermediate (11-15)||Young adult (16-18)|
|1966||Sid Walden ||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1970||John M. Hillyard||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1973||Peter Midlane ||-||-||-||Simon Bayliss ||-||-|
|1976||Jorge Ramirez Carrillo ||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1979||Charlie Bray ||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1980||Keith Height ||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1981||Bill Cox ||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1986||Charlie Bray||-||-||-||Luke Bilson||Craig Belson||-|
|1987||John Hawes||-||-||-||-||Martin Nikel||-|
|1988||W. Cox||Sheila Doubleday||-||-||-||Martin Nikel||-|
|1989||P. Short||Christina Bateman||-||-||Fiona Kingdom||Lempriere||-|
|1990||H. Watson||Mary Bedford||-||-||-||Faye Elliott||-|
|1991||John Bull||Pauline Baker||-||-||-||Lisa Crews||-|
|1992||P. Canning||J. Courtney||Chequered Skipper 'B' Team||-||-||M. Hutcheson||-|
|1993||M. Tindall||Sheila Doubleday||Chequered Skipper 'B' Team||-||M. Heatherington||R. Rawcliffe||-|
|1994||James Marsh||Tina Stone||The Crocodile||-||Daniel Jacks||James Nikel||-|
|1995||Brian Jackson||Judi Rabbit||The Brigstock International Quartet||The Wilpave Swingers||Tim Maguire||James Gould||-|
|1996||John Bull||Karen Morgan||Sebright Arms||Nutcracker Suite||Richard Fuller||James Nikel||-|
|1997||Paul Vjestica||Louise Bunker||Nelson Nutcrackers||The Minge Petals||Graham Clark||Diane Allen||-|
|1998||Helmut Kern ||Lesley Bullock||Nauort 2||Sebright Arms||Matthew Storrow||Jonathon Lyan||Ashley Thomas|
|1999||Jody Tracey||Margaret Twiddy||Absolutely Hammered||Wilpave Sweeties||Charlotte Laskey||Jack Jarvis||Chris Eccles|
|2000||Mark Tracey||Selma Becker||Barton Seagrave Bashers||The Minge Petals||Rachel Mintern||Sally Rate||Tim Linnell|
|2001||Neil Fraser||Celine Parachou||Royal Oak Resistance||France Fillies||Duncan Winfrey||Max Aitken||Lewis Chilvers|
|2002||Richard Swailes||Liz Gibson||Elton Wasps||Castle Green Conkerers||Ruth Pritchard||Joseph Emery||-|
|2003||Brian Stewart||Debbie Oates||No Strings Attached||Magnificent 7 Minus 3||Kieran Campbell||William Pritchard||Lucy Walshaw|
|2004||Darren Foster||Alison Everett||Daniel Lambert Dining Club||Les Filles Francais||Kieran O'Connor||Jordan Witherall||James Robinson|
|2005||Alex Callan||Jayne Coddington||Peterborough Nutters||Magnificent 7 Minus 3||Callum Owen||William Pritchard||Kallom Nash|
|2006||Chris Jones||Sandy Gardner||Celtic Conkerors||France||Philip Broomhead||Jack Boon||Emma Ratcliffe|
|2007||Ady Hurrell||Tina Stone||Royal Haskoning Rest of the World||Magnificent 7 Minus 3||Philip Broomhead||Nicolas Rothera||Steven Wray|
|2008||Ray Kellock||Amy Farrow||Rushden Reprobates||France||Thomas Whincup||Robert Winfield||Rebecca Moss|
|2009||Thomas Gormley||Sue Howes||Peterborough Nutters||-||Evie Driscoll-King||Oliver Mas||Brent Walker|
|2010||Ray Kellock||Wendy Bradford||The Fairways||Sri Lankan Ladies||Louis Carpenter||Samuel Lewin||Robyn Geldard|
|2011||Event Cancelled ||Bad weather||-||-||-||-||-|
|2012||Event Cancelled ||No venue||-||-||-||-||-|
|2013||Simon Cullum||Sophie Knox||Woodbeeez||event abolished||Harrison Scott||Oliver Simons||Georgie Spence-Jones|
|2014||John Doyle||Stephanie Withall||Woodbeeez||-||Elliott Hurrell||Daniel Devaney||Alex Wallman|
|2015||Steve Prescott||Amy Farrow||Woodbeeez||-||Peter Rogers||Isla Watson||Charlie Dathorne|
|2016||Tom Dryden||Lorna Clarke ||Lord Robartes Nutters||-||William Chapman||Josh Broomhead||Oliver Simons |
Roll of Honour
- "Hail the Conkering Hero". timetravel-britain.com. 2005.
- "Enough nuts for conker champions". BBC. 2006.
- "World Conker Championships in Ashton". chequeredskipper.co.uk. 2016.
- "World Conker Championship Press Photos". worldconkerchampionships.com. 2015.
- "World Conker Championship History". worldconkerchampionships.com. 2015.
- "World Conker Championship returns to Northants tomorrow". northantstelegraph.co.uk. 2016.
- "World Conker Championship crowns new king 2016". BBC. 2016.
- "The Morning Herald from Hagerstown, Maryland · Page 7 . November 21, 1973". newspapers.com. 1973.
- "PANIC! World Conker Championships threatened by moths". Metro. 2015.
- "World conker championships competition at Ashton in Northamptonshire.". Media Archive for Central England (Mace) 1969 to 1982. 2017.
- "World Conker Championship cancelled because of high winds". The Telegraph. 2011.
- "World Conker Championship cancelled for second year in row". BBC. 2012.
- "Retro: Conkering Heroes". Northamptonshire Telegraph. 2014.
- "Posts Tagged 'conkers'". sweffling.wordpress.com. 2010.
- "Past World Conker Champions". worldconkerchampionships.com. 2016.