REPORTER: It's that time of year again. The 47th annual World Conker Championships are on - and the competition is fierce. Two hundred players have come from as far as France, Latvia and the U.S. hoping to be the last conker standing.
AMERICAN IAN MOSS, COMPETITOR: "I love it, this is so British isn't it?"
REPORTER: For those of you who aren't familiar with the game, here's how it works. The goal is to smash the other player's conker - also called a horse chestnut. The conkers are strung on leather laces and are drawn blindly from a bag. Players have three strikes over a five-minute period, and if neither conker is broken at the end of the round - there is a penalty shootout with each player allotted nine strikes. Event organizer John Burkett says the key to snagging the title is in technique.
JOHN BURKETT, ORGANIZER: "There's various techniques. You'll find a lot of people favour the really hard downward swipe and try and smash their opponent's conker, but you've got just as much chance of breaking your own conker if you do that. So there are various other techniques, there's the sideways tap, which you sort of tap away at the other conker and wait for the other person really to break theirs and that can be quite successful. In fact, there's been two or three champions who've used that technique."
REPORTER: But in the end, these two were the toughest nuts to crack. Sophie Knox - dressed as the Pink Panther - won the women's title, and Simon Cullum was crowned the men's champion.
1. In the phrase "They came, they saw, they conkered" (a reference to Julius Caesar's famous "Veni, vidi, vici"), the usual spelling would be "conquered", but here it's been changed to "conkered" in a play on the word "conker".
2. If you say that someone is a tough nut to crack, you mean that they are difficult to understand. And in the game of conkers, the object is to crack the conker, which is a sort of nut.
Despite the difference in spelling, conquer and conker are pronounced in the same way.