Playing conkers

How to play this Traditional Game

In the course of the months of September and October, a favorite playground recreation is conkers. It’s a recreation which has been performed each autumn for generations however these days fewer kids are enjoying it. We hope to revive this British customized by telling you extra about it.

Playing conkers
Youngsters enjoying the sport of conkers

Roald Dahl was an enormous conker fan. He tells us in his ebook, ‘Roald Dahl, My 12 months’ that,
…an amazing conker is one which has been saved in a dry place for a minimum of a 12 months. This matures it and makes it rock exhausting and due to this fact formidable.

Do you know? ……

On discovering your first conker of the season, you must say:

” Oddly oddly onker my first conker”. This ensures luck and few tangles all through the approaching season.

The sport of conkers is called ‘Kingers‘ in some components of the world.
Discover out extra…

A conker is the seed of the horse chestnut tree (not the candy chestnut tree the place we get edible chestnuts from).


It’s a exhausting brown nut which is present in a prickly casing.

Conker growing on horse chestnut tree
Conkers, not but prepared, on a horse chestnut tree

The inexperienced outer casing of the seed will flip brown and crack open revealing the conkers inside.

Conkers inside their pod
Seed pod cut up revealing conkers inside

They fall from the tree when they’re ripe throughout the autumn months.


Every seed pod can home many conkers.

inside a pod showing four conkers

Conkers can be the title given to a recreation performed between two folks at a time.

The most effective conkers to play with are uncracked, agency and symmetrical. Make a gap by means of the center of of your chosen conker. Thread a powerful piece of string about 25cm lengthy, by means of the opening and tie a knot at one finish, in order that it would not pull by means of.

Every participant has a conker hanging on its string. Gamers take turns at hitting their opponent’s conker. textual content taken from and copyright of

Playing conkers

In case you are the one whose conker is to be hit first, let it dangle down from the string which is wrapped spherical your hand. The conker is held on the top your opponent chooses and is held completely nonetheless.

conker hanging on string

Your opponent, the striker, wraps his conker string spherical his hand similar to yours. He then takes his conker within the different hand and attracts it again for the strike.

Aiming to hit

Releasing the conker he swings it down by the string held within the different hand and tries to hit his opponents conker (yours) with it.

If a participant misses hitting his/her opponents conker they’re allowed as much as two additional goes.

If the strings tangle, the primary participant to name “strings” will get an additional shot.

If a participant hits his/her opponents conker in such a approach that it completes an entire circle after being hit – generally known as ‘around the world’ – the participant will get one other go.

If a participant drops his conker, or it’s knocked out of his hand the opposite participant can shout ‘stamps’ and leap on it; however ought to its proprietor first cry ‘no stamps’ then the conker, hopefully, stays intact.

The sport goes on in turns till one or different of the 2 conkers is totally destroyed.

(by Steve, a customer to our web site)

A victorious conker assumes the rating of all its sufferer’s precedent foes.

Thus, in a contest between two contemporary conkers, the winner would then have a rating of 1 (generally known as a ‘one-er’). If it then beat one other three one-ers, it might develop into a four-er.

Nonetheless, if the identical conker then beat a conker which had beforehand conquered (no pun meant) 5 contemporary opponents (and thus was a ‘five-er’), our steadfast nut would then develop into a ten-er (its personal 4, plus its newest sufferer (1) *plus* its sufferer’s earlier rely of 5).

You will not discover this rule for a world championship because it would not make sense for a one-day occasion. Nevertheless it actually does at college, the place a superb conker may go for a number of seasons and even be handed on to a youthful sibling.

I bear in mind there being sixty-ers round in my youth however, sadly, haven’t any recollection of ever beating one…

Finest needs from Switzerland,

Ever puzzled why some conkers float in water however most sink? When positioned in water, all of the conkers which have harm inside them will, attributable to their lack of density, float to the floor.

For kids who want for ‘killer’ Conkers. you merely discard the floaters and focus on the a lot more durable ones on the backside of the bucket.

You may strive one of many following, though it’s thought-about dishonest:

  • Soak your conker in vinegar.
  • Bake your conker within the oven.
  • Use an outdated conker from earlier years.

This occasion is held yearly on the second Sunday in October on the Village Inexperienced at Ashton in Northamptonshire. Contestants will not be allowed to make use of their very own conkers. Nuts are equipped for every recreation after being gathered and strung by the organisers. Every recreation lasts 5 minutes. If neither conker has damaged a shoot out takes place. Every participant has three units of three hits and the one who lands most clear hits is the winner.

Go to the official World Conker Championship web site for extra particulars.

Britain is believed to be the one nation on the earth the place the sport of conkers is historically performed with horse chestnuts within the autumn.

Horse chestnut bushes had been first launched to England within the late 16th century from Japanese Europe.

Horse chestnut conkers, in contrast to many different kinds of chestnut seed, are unfit for human consumption.

Conkers are edible by deer, cattle and never surprisingly, horses.

The primary recorded recreation of conkers was on the Isle of Wight in 1848 and was modelled on a 15th century recreation performed with hazelnuts, also called cobnuts.

The origin of the title ‘conker’ is unclear, however one fashionable rationalization is that it stems from the French phrase cogner, which means to “hit” or “biff”.

Extracts from horse chestnuts have been used to deal with malaria, varicose veins, diarrhoea, frostbite and ringworm, in addition to being a element of sunscreen merchandise.

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