Monday, September 28, 2009

Cool Childhood Game

When I lived in Europe one of my favorite things to do in the fall was play 'Conkers'. I forget what we called it but apparently its a popular European game in places where Horse Chestnuts are grown. I so remember gathering up our chestnuts and picking out only the best ones. We got our Dads to drill the holes for the strings and you always had at least 4 or 5 in your pockets at all time. If you were lucky you picked a chestnut that had hardened sufficiently to destroy your opponents one. The real trick though was deciding when to 'retire' your winning chestnut before its battle scars let to its destruction. I once had a five time winner I remember that I would show off by hanging it off my desk in class. It was one of the first times I remember girls being impressed by anything I did. This is a photo display of how the game worked.

How to play conkers

Each player has a conker hanging on its string. Players take turns at hitting their opponent's conker.

If you are the one whose conker is to be hit first, let it hang down from the string which is wrapped round your hand. The conker is held at the height your opponent chooses and is held perfectly still.

Your opponent, the striker, wraps his conker string round his hand just like yours. He then takes his conker in the other hand and draws it back for the strike.

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

If a player misses hitting his/her opponents conker they are allowed up to two further goes.

If the strings tangle, the first player to call "strings" gets an extra shot.

If a player hits his/her opponents conker in such a way that it completes a whole circle after being hit - known as ‘round the world’ – the player gets another go.

If a player drops his conker, or it is knocked out of his hand the other player can shout 'stamps' and jump on it; but should its owner first cry 'no stamps' then the conker, hopefully, remains intact.

The game goes on in turns until one or other of the two conkers is completely destroyed.


Reis O'Brien said...

This RULES! I'm such a sucker for cool kid games like this. We never had this game when I was a kid, which kind of sucks, because we had tons of those chestnuts around our little town in Michigan, where I grew up.

We did use them as ammo for our homemade slingshots, and let me tell you, those things friggin HURT!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I so remember going out at recess and meeting a kid from across the playground like a couple of gunfighters.

Wings1295 said...

Looks like a fun kids' game!

Unknown said...

I had a girlfriend many years ago who taught me the verse "Oblee oblee onker, my nut shall conquer." I always wondered where it came from....

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I getting that stitched onto a pillow. Very cool!

Michael May said...

Before I saw the third picture (or read the text) and got the scale, I was imagining that those nuts were coconut-sized. I'm thinking that could only make the game even better.

Ooh, and if you set them on fire...