September 28, 2009

Conkers judges combat cheating

Organizers of England's Poulton International Conkers Tournament warned judges will be keeping a close lookout for cheaters at this year's event.

The organizers said the contest, which involves players threading horse-chestnut seeds onto strings before smashing them into one another until a player's conker breaks, will be vigilantly policed by judges on the lookout for non-regulation seeds, The Daily Sun reported Monday.

Phil Heneghan, one of the organizers of the event, which is returning Oct. 2 after a 10-year hiatus, said conkers deemed suitable for play will be handed out by the contest committee and marked with a fluorescent pen to distinguish them from counterfeits.

It is truly incredible what lengths some contestants will go to in their attempts to win the championship, he said. All conkers used will be supplied to competitors by the committee, after being individually drilled and strung, in an effort to avoid the dishonest substitutions experienced in the past.

Heneghan said anyone caught cheating will be banned from the competition.