Fierce rivalries set to renew at fun but serious conker championships at Long Clawson

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There will be smashing fun and a cracking atmosphere when the Vale of Belvoir Conker Championships start in Long Clawson.

The competition on Sunday returns with a new start time of 2pm, but the tournament format will remain the same as last year, mixed under 14s and males and females.

The event is held on the Pingle play area, which is next to the Crown and Plough, in the centre of the village. There are a total of 96 places available on the day and people can register in advance at the pub.

There are a number of rules entrants must adhere to. These are:

- No snagging, three snags and you’re disqualified

- Minimum string length from hand to conker

- Time limited for a clean win by smashing your opponents conker, if not it’s sudden death knock out, best of nine strikes

All the conkers are provided and you’re not allowed to bring your own. Chief judge Prince Conker (aka Robin Bailey) will have the final say in cases of dispute.

Mark Goddard, one of the main organisers, has coordinated the collection of all of the conkers for the day. He said: “We’re really pleased with the quality and size of the conkers this year, all I need to do now is drill and lace up the conkers ready for the big day.”

Trophies are presented to the winners and runner-up in each category.

Martin Walker, current chairman of the organising committee, said: “We’re very grateful for the help and support from a number of individuals who make the day run like clockwork and also to Spray Kitchen Elite and the Crown and Plough for their support.

“This year we have two previous winners from Long Clawson, Dan Skelton and Andy Bickle (King Conkers), joining in with helping to organise the event.”

As well as raising funds for the village hall, the 34th Vale of Belvoir Conker Championships will be raising money for Cancer Research UK.

Registration is from 1pm with the competition starting at 2pm. All are welcome to attend, no previous experience is necessary to take part.