Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Sunday, 27 September 2009 11:31 UK

Officials clampdown over conkers

conkers
The village's conkers championship has not taken place for a decade

Officials at a village conker competition in Gloucestershire have warned competitors to expect searches and police-style checks.

The aim is to crack down on cheats at Poulton's International Conkers Tournament on 2 October.

The contest is being held in the village near Cirencester for the first time in 10 years.

Only conkers collected and checked by the contest committee can be used in the competition.

These are to be marked with a special fluorescent pen, similar to those in use by police forces to highlight stolen property.

'Dishonest substitutions'

The winning team will then have their conkers examined by a special light to ensure there have been no substitutions.

Organiser Phil Heneghan said: "It is truly incredible what lengths some contestants will go to in their attempts to win the championship.

"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.

"We will also strain-test conkers in a vice and have a squad of people who will be checking the strings to ensure no elastic is used."

Mr Heneghan said anyone found cheating would be banned.

The tournament takes place at Poulton's Village Hall with 20 teams entering to date.

Each five-person team faces another team with each contestant allowed three strikes. The team with the most conkers intact after this goes through to the next round.



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